Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

Following the government’s expressed concerns about rising rates of HIV, in 2007 the Central African Republic introduced the HIV and AIDS Training And Education Curriculum (2007). Over the years, different governments have developed policies and plans related to the need to include family life education or sexual education in the school curriculum. A number of non-governmental organizations and international organizations have also played a crucial role in advocacy, in the development and dissemination of appropriate information, and in the provision of advice and services and programmes, including on HIV.


2. Terminology

At the national level, different words are used in different policies and programmes. The range of texts consulted includes different terms such as ‘HIV and AIDS education’ and ‘reproductive health’. The HIV and AIDS Training And Education Curriculum (2007) uses the term ‘sexuality education’. No explicit definitions of these terms have been found.


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: 1991

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: 1992

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


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Ratification date: 2016

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


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Ratification date: 1981

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: 1962

Reaffirms that education is a human right. It highlights states' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, bans any form of discrimination and promotes equality of educational opportunity.


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


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



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

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

The Constitution of the Central African Republic (2016) obliges the State and other public authorities to protect women and children against violence and insecurity, exploitation and physical, moral, and intellectual abandonment, and to ensure protection through appropriate measures and institutions.

 Law No 06.005 on Reproductive Health (2006) guarantees equality in rights and in dignity of all individuals in matters of reproductive health, without any discrimination based on sex. In addition, it offers women access to state health services so they can see their pregnancies to term and give birth safely.

The 2003 National Reproductive Health Policy aims to increase reproductive health awareness among adolescents and young children, reduce rates of morbidity and mortality related to STIs and HIV, and encourage literacy and education for girls. It promoted the implementation of two key initiatives: Information, Education, and Communication, and Family Life Education, which covered family planning, HIV prevention and treatment, information, education, and communication in reproductive health, and the promotion of a gender perspective. It also demanded an end to damaging traditional sexual practices, including female genital mutilation.

The National Reproductive Health Policy and other key policy documents, including the National Health Development Plan (2006-2015) and the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (2012-2016), highlight the importance of adopting sexuality education at all levels of education.

The United Nations Joint Programme for Strengthening the Resilience of Adolescents and Young People in the Central African Republic (2017-2019) is a joint programme between the United Nations and the Government of the Central African Republic. The programme seeks to improve young people’s access to sexuality education both in and out of school, so they can make informed decisions about their SRH rights. The programme has three components: (i) strengthening social cohesion and peace through citizenship education; (ii) creating economic prospects for young people (girls and boys) through vocational training; and (iii) promoting the acquisition of basic skills. Outcome 3 of the joint programme calls for a more favourable social, legal, and cultural environment for youth health and rights. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) interventions focus on supporting SRH services for youth; (ii) promoting responsible behaviour by health service providers; (iii) strengthening the supply chain for RH products; and (iv) promoting dialogue among parents, communities, religious leaders, and political authorities on youth-related SRH issues.

The Education Sector Plan 2020-2029 promotes curriculum reform. The Plan refers to the need to adapt curricula to the country's post-conflict era by including and strengthening peace and citizenship education, emergency and safety education, sexual education, gender parity, and entrepreneurship (in technical and vocational training curricula). It includes various objectives to promote access to education for girls, such as: fighting against gender-based violence in the school environment; applying sanctions against harassment and abuse, especially within the school and among the teaching staff; and introducing or strengthening modules on sexual education and gender parity in the curricula to improve segregation.

Other legislation provides a regulatory framework covering areas related to CSE. These include the Action Plan for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment during the implementation of the Public Sector Digital Governance Project activities (2022), which stipulates that training should be an important part of prevention strategies and the National Strategy To Combat Gender-Based Violence, Child Marriage And Female Genital Mutilation In The Central African Republic 2019-2023 .

3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

No information was found.

Model of delivery

The HIV and AIDS Training And Education Curriculum (2007) is integrated into several primary and secondary education subject areas, including citizenship education, French, home economics, geography, life and earth sciences, and psychology.

Comprehensiveness of content

According to the HIV and AIDS Training And Education Curriculum (2007), students must develop competencies and skills such as: the ability to establish inner harmony as well as harmonious interpersonal relationships; the ability to take on appropriate responsibilities, make positive choices and make decisions as a citizen and agent of development; the ability to identify the issues linked to the impact of HIV, to analyse their consequences, and to find solutions; and the ability to take care of one's body and promote responsible sexual behaviour. The teaching programme covers the entire school curriculum, starting in the first year of primary school and continuing until the final year of secondary school.

Learning resources

Regarding the availability of teaching and learning resources to facilitate the implementation of sexuality education in schools, the National Reproductive Health Policy (2003) advocates the creation of teaching guides to combat AIDS. The HIV and AIDS Training And Education Curriculum (2007) and the 2007 Teacher Training Curriculum on HIV and AIDS provide comprehensive guidance, including teaching strategies, methodologies, and learning exercises.


3.4. Teachers

The HIV and AIDS Training and Education Curriculum (2007) was devised to train teachers to plan and implement a class-based or entire school-based project that includes educational activities and tools relating to reproductive health, vulnerability, stigmatization and discrimination, the treatment and care of affected and infected people, leadership, the impact of HIV and AIDS on human development, and advocacy and life skills. The United Nations Joint Programme for Strengthening the Resilience of Adolescents and Young People in the Central African Republic (2017-2019) aims to improve the ability of educators to provide young women and men with quality information at school or in the community, including the prevention of early pregnancies, gender-based violence, STIs, and HIV. The interventions are intended to enhance the capacity of teachers and educators to provide comprehensive sexuality education and sound knowledge on related issues. The Education Sector Plan 2020-2029 contains modules on teacher preparation, sexual education, and gender parity.


3.5. Schools

Regarding students’ access to school-based health care, the National Reproductive Health Policy (2003) notes the existence of school health services and school health centres at educational institutions and universities. In addition, the Education Sector Plan 2020-2029 calls for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Health and Population to collaborate to include the location and distribution of health services on the national school map; and (ii) ensure cooperation between school and health personnel. Cooperation could be in the form of frequent visits by health workers to schools, the training of teachers or community members in first aid care, and the referral of ill school children to a health institution. The United Nations Joint Programme for Strengthening the Resilience of Adolescents and Young People in the Central African Republic (2017-2019) includes efforts to increase the access of adolescents and young people to psychosocial and mental health services.


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The Ministry of Primary, Secondary, Technical Education and Literacy is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing the Government's policies and strategies related to ​​primary and secondary education. The Ministry works closely with other ministries whose mandates and policies cover SRH, such as the Ministry of Public Health and Population.

The National Committee to Combat Traditional Practices Harmful to the Health of Women and Girls and Violence Against Them was created in 2001 and includes the Ministry of Education. It aims to educate the population about violence and these harmful practices as well as the relationship between certain forms of violence against women and girls and HIV . Using a gender- and rights-based approach, The Association Centrafricaine pour le Bien-être familial (ACABEF) is mandated to increase young people's access to comprehensive, gender-sensitive SRH information and education, and to improve the access of women, men and young people to quality SRH services.

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

According to the Education Sector Plan 2020-2029, schools are organized into school districts with an administrative body in charge of pedagogical and administrative supervision. No additional information was found regarding the role of school districts in providing CSE.

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found on the budget allocation for sexuality education.


5. Monitoring and reporting

The Education Sector Plan 2020-2029 proposes the setting up of a learning evaluation system. The Plan points to the importance of developing a learning assessment system to guide education policy decisions and improve the quality of the current education system for the Central African Republic. Specifically, it recommends (i) deciding on the future participation of the Central African Republic in regional and international assessments that allow comparisons with other countries; and (ii) auditing and, if necessary, reviewing, the country’s system of internal evaluations (national evaluations and within schools). The Plan stipulates that a learning assessment system must allow for a thoughtful and strategic approach at all these levels. The United Nations Joint Programme for Strengthening the Resilience of Adolescents and Young People in the Central African Republic (2017-2019) includes SRH-related data organized by age and sex, which is sourced from all clinics and public health establishments across the country.

Last modified:

Tue, 14/02/2023 - 16:22