The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

Dr. John Eller

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Christensen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Steven Emerson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Adolescents, Sexuality Education, Teachers' Perspectives, Southern Cameroons, sub-Saharan Africa


This research examines teachers’ perspectives of school-based sexuality/reproductive health education more fully than has ever been done in the field of education in Southern Cameroons and attempts at breaking the silence on a topic still greatly considered taboo in Cameroon. School-based sexuality education is a subject that aims to educate, enlighten, and “equip children and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will empower them to: realize their health, well-being, and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how the choices affect their well-being and that of others, and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their live” (UNESCO, 2018, p. 16). This dissertation therefore seeks to understand how sexuality education is taught at secondary schools in Cameroon, and why it has very little impact on the lives of Cameroonian adolescents.

Grounded in phenomenology, the purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the current state of teachers’ understanding of sexual reproductive health and safety education as taught in Cameroon’s secondary schools, to identify barriers to the teaching of sexuality education, and to examine whether sexual consent education, which is a determining factor in adolescent safety is being taught at schools. The problem of this study emerges from the lack of empirical research in the field examining teachers’ role and perceptions of school-based sexuality education in Southern Cameroons at the time of this study. The urgency in the need for adolescent sexuality education arises from circumstances of predatory sexual abuse, lack of knowledge, socio-cultural beliefs disfavoring the girl child, gender-based violence and gender inequality prominent in the society. This study utilized semi-structured interviews with twelve open-ended questions. Participants were teachers in an all-girls secondary and boarding school in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. The overarching research inquiry guiding this study surrounds the question; what factors do teachers consider important that could facilitate their ability to influence students’ sexual health behavior and safety? The coding of interviews for common themes and subthemes, combined with an understanding of participants’ lived experiences in a patriarchal setting with socio-cultural and traditional strictures, revealed how these dynamics influence teachers’ lives and opinions on how and what they teach. Findings revealed an overarching theme - the intersectionality of conservatism, morality, and progressivism in teaching methodology. The groundbreaking results revealed Cameroonian teachers in this study have an unspoken, unacknowledged commonality, which is their common holistic goal of educating complete persons. Consequently, Cameroonian teachers support a proposed nationwide revamping of policies concerning school-based sexuality education in public, as well as non-public schools in Cameroon, for the benefit of all adolescents in the national territory.



This dissertation is dedicated to Zaccheus Musongo Nambangi, my dad, who was the first feminist I encountered even before I understood the meaning of the word. His worldview on educating the girl child along with the boy child were revolutionary in his day. Continue to rest in peace, Dad, you finally got your doctor.

To Elizabeth Baliki Nambangi, my mom, who remains my greatest cheerleader. Mom, you are my hero.

And to my sons, Jeroen and Kyron, who will grow to be great men of substance.


First, my sincere gratitude goes to my committee members who spent copious amounts of time guiding and directing me through this process. Dr. Eller, thank you for being at the beginning of this journey with me, your guidance and expertise greatly set the foundation of this work. Dr. Emerson, I appreciate your constant and immediate willingness to assist me in any way you can. Dr. Christensen, accept my sincere gratitude for the time and effort you have invested in making me succeed in all my endeavors at St. Cloud State University. Lastly, my profound gratitude goes to Dr. Frances Kayona, who has been available to guide me, educate me, and push me in whatever way possible, at any day or time of the week, to this finished product. Your dedication to student advising is impeccable and to be emulated.

Secondly, I would like to acknowledge my doctoral classmates, Cohort 12 at St. Cloud State University for their inspiration, assistance, and dedication in supporting each other through this program.

Lastly, many thanks to my family and friends, my children, my nieces, and nephews, who continue to stand by me, providing support in so many ways. This would not have been possible without your constant love and support. I am forever grateful to all of you.



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