Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

Madagascar has one of the highest demographic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with a high percentage of the population under the age of 25. Despite significant efforts and an appropriate legal and institutional framework, gender inequality persists through practices such as child marriage, high fertility rates among adolescents, gender violence, and other harmful behaviours that impede social development. To improve this aspect of social development, sexual education has been formally implemented in the educational setting.


2. Terminology

Education Sexuelle (‘sexual education’) is the term used in most policy documents. ‘Education for life’ is also used in policy frameworks and documents, and this is understood to include sexuality education.


3. Laws and policies

3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which the country is a signatory



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Ratification date: 1989

Acknowledges the need to guarantee sexuality education free from discrimination and stereotypes, conveying gender equality values.


Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Ratification date: 1991

Commits to the right to access appropriate health-related information.


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Ratification date: 2015

Commits to the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities.


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Ratification date: 1971

Acknowledges that the right to sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of the right to health.


UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Ratification date: 1964

State obligations in terms of free and compulsory education, it prohibits all forms of discrimination and promotes equal opportunities in education


The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action

The country attended the Conference

Calls for sexuality education, counselling and support mechanisms for adolescents, and identifies essential topics.


UN General Assembly 2016 Political Declaration

on HIV and AIDS

Includes commitments and calls to scale up and/or attention to scientifically accurate age- and culturally appropriate comprehensive sexuality education.


Commission on the Status of Women 2016 Resolution on Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS

Includes commitments to make universally accessible and available quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health-care services, commodities, information and education.




Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African (ESA)


Madagascar was a signatory in 2013 and it renews its commitment.

Commits to ensuring comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for young people.



3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating comprehensive sexuality education

Madagascar has an enabling legal and policy environment for sexuality education. Article 5 of the 2017 Reproductive Health and Family Planning Law 2017-043 specifies that in matters of reproductive health and family planning, every individual, regardless of age, has the right to comprehensive services, such as access to information, education, communication, referral and care. The law stipulates that adolescents have the right to health information and education, and it also promotes school and university health.

Article 14 of the 2008 Law on the General Direction of the Education, Teaching and Training System in Madagascar states that schools and all educational and training institutions should aim to facilitate the physical, mental, emotional and moral development of every individual. It also mandates education for citizenship and civic matters, which covers instruction in hygiene and family health, including HIV & AIDS prevention, and the development of awareness of, and respect for, human rights.

Article 43 of the 2006 Law n°2005-040 on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV & AIDS dictates that ‘the Ministries in charge of education have the obligation to develop an educational program, including AIDS, according to which the teachers have the obligation to inform, educate and sensitize the children, pupils and students on the prevention and the fight against HIV/AIDS taking into account the evolution of scientific research, beliefs, cultures and traditional value systems’.

The National Strategic Plan for Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health 2018-2020 aimed to strengthen services and programmes relating to the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of adolescents and young people in Madagascar, including scaling up the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programme in public and private primary and secondary schools.

The National Strategy to Combat Child Marriage 2017-2024 aims to strengthen and promote knowledge of SRH in young people. It includes a focus on reinforcing efforts to keep girls in school.

The 2016 National Health Policy aims at providing quality health services to all. The guidelines on the Policy address several areas: safe motherhood; gender equality; combating sexual violence, cervical cancer, STIs and HIV & AIDS; adolescent and young people's reproductive health; and family planning.

Sexuality education content was originally cross-cutting and integrated into the Natural Sciences curriculum. The objective was to impart knowledge on human and animal biology and physiology. In 2012, the scope was broadened and the Ministry of Education, with the assistance of UNESCO and UNFPA, developed the framework/curriculum for CSE. This Framework for the Direction of Sexual Education (Cadre d’Orientation d’ Education Sexuelle) is to support the implementation of the CSE programme – the Programme for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (Programme d’Education Sexuelle Complète), and a teacher’s guide for using the framework. The framework/curriculum was aimed at primary, lower secondary, and part of upper-secondary education.

The 2015 Pédagogie par les objectifs methodology (Effective objectives-based pedagogy), designed to improve the quality of teaching, also provided an opportunity for the integration of CSE into legal and policy frameworks.


3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

There was no Information on whether sexuality education is mandatory or optional. 

In 2015, the Ministry of National Education launched the design phase of new curricula for sexual education. The documents are accompanied by teacher and parent guides. This new vision of sexual education addresses not only the scientific contents of SRH, but also the dimensions relating to values, tolerance, rights and obligations. It focuses on the development of life skills, responsible behaviours, and interpersonal relationships, including better parent-child relationships.

In 2018, the Ministry of Education, with the support of UNFPA, developed a curriculum on CSE for educators and an information document for parents to protect and inform young people.

Model of delivery

Sexuality education is integrated into all subjects, from Malagasy to physical education. The curriculum covers all levels and ages, from early childhood to adolescence. It is divided into four age groups: 5-8 years, 9-12 years, 12-15 years, and 15+ years, in line with the official education programme. In secondary education (collège and lycée), sexuality education contents are integrated into the natural sciences.

Comprehensiveness of content

Sexuality education topics for younger students (collège) include puberty, body changes, and the importance of thorough body hygiene for health and well-being. Topics for older students (lycée) include human reproduction, ‘the moral way to prevent unwanted procreation’, contraceptive methods, abortion, infertility, and medically assisted reproduction, among others. The curriculum also highlights values such as self-respect, respect for others, respect for life, and respect for human dignity. It aims to reduce the risk of early and unintended pregnancies, rates of STIs and HIV, and violence and sexual abuse and all forms of discrimination. It also aims to provide scientifically accurate information to children and young people to enable them to protect themselves in everyday life.

Learning resources

The Education For Life In Harmony programme (Education à la vie en harmonie, previously Cadre d'Orientation de l'Education Sexuelle) includes supporting documents on the execution of the curriculum and a handbook for instructors on how to apply the framework.


3.4. Teachers

In March 2022, the Ministry of National Education and non-governmental organization SEED Madagascar collaborated to develop the manual on building teacher capacity in ​​health and the SRH young people. Once finalized, the manuals will be used to support teachers in raising SRH awareness among young people, according to their age and education level. The manuals will be available for public and faith-based schools.

No information was found on the requirement for teachers to be trained in the provision of sexuality education.


3.5. Schools

No information was found regarding school-based service in schools. The 2017 Reproductive Health and Family Planning Law 2017-043 dictates the right for adolescents to access family planning advice and services for teenagers.

The National Strategic Plan for Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health 2018 - 2020 sought to improve SRH services for children and adolescents and train personnel working with young people.

The CSE programme highlights the need for medical personnel to implement activities in schools upon request, including a visit by a nurse or doctor to sensitize learners on a particular topic or provide them with information on where to access specific services.


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The Ministry of Education is responsible for the development of the CSE programme, support materials, and the pilot phase of the new curriculum, which was carried out in 2017. The directorates of basic and secondary education (Direction de l’Education Fondamentale and Direction de l’Enseignement Secondaire) are responsible for implementing CSE.

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

No information was found.

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found.


5. Monitoring and reporting

In 2018, the Ministry of National Education (through its Directorate of Educational Planning) attended a training/sharing of good practices on the CSE-EMIS in Harare, with the support of UNESCO. The planning directorate has compiled a draft indicator table, but this has not yet been fully integrated into the Primary Survey Form and other data collection tools.

Última modificación:

Mar, 14/02/2023 - 18:44