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Education Dept says open to input on new Life Orientation topics

The department has rejected what it described as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts about some of the topics it will be covering for pupils between grades four and 12.

FILE: The department has dismissed the allegations, saying the subject seeks to address real-world issues faced by pupils. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Basic Education on Tuesday said it was open for further discussions and input regarding some of its content in the Life Orientation subject.

The department rejected what it described as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts about some of the topics it will be covering for pupils between grades four and 12.

This follows reports that the new Life Orientation textbooks, which will be rolled out next year, will teach children as young as nine years old about masturbation, among other topics.

This has caused panic amongst parents with some teachers reportedly threatening to boycott the curriculum.

The department has dismissed the allegations, saying the subject seeks to address real-world issues faced by pupils.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga explained: “That is just one benefit of this curriculum, but it also helps children to take care of themselves and to be aware of themselves. It will also help them to be aware of how to defend themselves against certain dangers.”