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UNFPA, IRC staff taking photo with students and Teachers of St. Maria Goretti Secondary school Catholic Church Aweil By Benjamin Takpiny

Sexual education hailed for reducing early pregnancies in Northern Bahr El Ghazal

Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) rolled out in schools in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State (NGBS) has positively impacted early pregnancies among teenage girls.

Jok Bol Jok, Headmaster of St. Maria Goretti Secondary School Catholic Church in Aweil, said that the introduction of CSE in the school has helped create awareness among the students on the negative effect of sex.

 “Before the introduction of comprehensive sexual health education in the school, there were many pregnancies among the students, but this has reduced now because students know how to protect themselves, it’s very important to us and we want it to continue,” Jok told The Juba Echo last week in Aweil.

He revealed that in previous years prior to the introduction of CSE in school they used to register 10 pregnancies annually.

Jok said that of recently they have not registered any pregnancy among their girls.

CSE is taking place in five schools in NGBS supported by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

 The Swedish government funds UNFPA to roll out sexual health education in these schools.

 “We have recommended it in our school because it’s going to reduce crimes our children have been going through, now they know the dangers of indulging in sex,” said Jok.

 He urged other schools and parents to take CSE seriously because it provides students with knowledge on how to protect themselves, hence complimenting parental guidance on sexual behavior.

 Abuk  Lual,  a student from St. Maria Goretti Secondary School Catholic Church, said that CSE is very important to them because it teaches them on how to protect themselves.

“According to lessons that have been given to us about CSE, I have learnt that it’s not good to have sex outside marriage because you might get pregnant or catch diseases like HIV/AIDs that will make me to lose my education,” said Lual.

UNPFA, IRC officials together with students of South Sudan Education center Secondary school in Aweil

Monica Aguil, from South Sudan Education Centre Secondary School, said that CSE has made her change her mind about getting into love affair with boys for fear of getting pregnant.

 “This comprehensive sexual education has changed my mind, because I want to get married when I reach senior three, I have to continue with my studies until I finish and get married,” said Aguil.

She said her role is to be ambassador of no sex before or outside marriage.

James Diing Garang, Headmaster of South Sudan Education Centre Secondary School, said that the rate of teenage pregnancy has now reduced in his school because of CSE.

He said that CSE helping them on how educate children on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy.

Garang said that last year about three girls got pregnant in the school before CSE had been introduced in the school.

“We appreciate IRC and UNFPA together with their donors for introducing this important lesson in our schools, now our students will progress with their education because they know how to protect themselves,” said Garang.

Catherine Baya, UNFPA Humanitarian Response Analyst, said CSE is a life-saving program and it has to be taken seriously.

“Let us save the lives of our people, if you pass out this message about what you have learned from this lesson in the school it will help many girls not to get unintended pregnancy,” said Baya.

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