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Nationally, more than a third of adolescents (those aged 15–19), whether married or not, have had sexual intercourse (37% of females and 41% of males), and about one-fifth are currently sexually active (Table 1.1).The median age at first intercourse is 18 for females and 17 for males, yet among 15–19-year-olds, 11% and 20% of each gender, respectively, initiated sex before age 15.
This report presents findings on the development of policies and curricula, including the actors involved and challenges faced; how sexuality education is taught in classrooms; students’ experiences and preferences; support for implementation, including teacher training and school environment factors; sexuality education outside of the classroom; and general opinions about sexuality education among key stakeholders.
The information presented is intended to provide the Kenyan government and other stakeholders with a better understanding of sexuality education in its schools, and ultimately to improve the quality and effectiveness of such education for both teachers and students.
In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs that recognize sexual activity during adolescence as normative behavior, that seek to ensure the safety of such behavior, and that focus on human rights, gender equality and empowerment have demonstrated impact in several areas: improving knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem; positively changing attitudes and gender and social norms; strengthening decision-making and communication skills and building self-efficacy; and increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives.
Despite efforts targeting these reproductive health issues, recent studies indicate a persistently high need for SRH information and services, further emphasizing the need for high-quality sexuality education.
While different definitions of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) have been developed over time, this study used the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) definition (Box 2.1).
On the basis of the UNFPA definition, this study explored sexuality education according to three dimensions: information and topics covered, values and attitudes nurtured, and life skills developed.
This report provides a snapshot of how sexuality education policies in Kenya are translated into practice in secondary schools, and what students, teachers and principals think about them.
Data from official documents, key informant interviews and school-based surveys were used to examine how sexuality education programs in three counties were developed, implemented and experienced.
Reviews of policies and curricula pertaining to sexuality education have shown that while many countries have established curricula, little is known about their use in schools—the degree of implementation, the mode and quality of the instruction, the existence of program monitoring and evaluation tools, the adequacy and quality of teacher training, the level of support for or opposition to the subject, and the effectiveness of existing programs in achieving desired knowledge and behavioral outcomes among students.
Small-scale reviews of school-based programs run by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been conducted in Kenya, but there has not been a review of the government’s sexuality education program in schools.