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Catholic Church blacklists SchoolNet programmes

Kasana-Luweero diocese Bishop Paul Ssemogerere has asked all schools across his area of jurisdiction to reject a computer-based comprehensive sexuality education curriculum.

Speaking during Kasana cathedral parish day celebrations last week, Bishop Ssemogerere argued that investigations had showed that the promoters of this curriculum were also spreading homosexuality among learners.

This follows reports that about 100 schools had been duped by SchoolNet, a non-governmental organization supplying computers to schools that train in sex education.

According to these reports, the curriculum targets secondary school students and their teachers, raising homosexuality and masturbation as fulfilling sexual attributes among consenting people.

But Bishop Ssemogerere warned that homosexuality is against the order of nature and teachings of the Catholic faith. He also advised that sex education be withdrawn from schools and made the responsibility of parents. 

“The donors bring money, now that programme they brought along is teaching our children homosexuality. It is now in 100 schools. Please parents; it is your responsibility to teach children sex education rightly,” he said.

“God left all this responsibility to parents. These advocating for it in schools have selfish interests. 

Brother Anthony Musisi, the diocesan education secretary told The Observer: “Some of the Catholic schools, which had started ‘falling prey’, are the ones in which computer science had been introduced several years ago. But I can assure you we have started countering the challenge by meeting all school heads to guard against them.” 

Speaking to The Daily Monitor, the director, National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), Grace Baguma, denied knowledge of the curriculum, saying her first time to see the controversial curriculum was a fortnight ago when the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) officials invited her team to explain the sex education content for schools. 

“I have heard about it but we have never seen what it is. We are not part of this content. It is not ours. It has raised a lot of concern and it is good you are reporting on it ... What I know is that they used to supply computers to schools. I don’t know what they are doing now,” she said.

This information has sparked raging controversy among the public, especially religious leaders through UJCC and parents. The SchoolNet director, Daniel Kakinda, admitted the sex content in the curriculum but was quick to add that it was revised in 2012 with financing from Rutgers WPF to suit the Ugandan society. 

“That is not the document we are using now. It was not designed for our audience. WPF based in Netherlands designed it but different countries were supposed to keep looking at the document and adopt what is culturally-acceptable in their respective communities. They played something generic. We also had issues with it. We looked at it and developed what fits us and we are now dealing with the revised version of 2012,” Kakinda said. 

SchoolNet was endorsed by the ministry to supply computers to schools. 

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