Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sex Education in schools - What they say?

IT'S not easy being at school these days. And that is not the student talking. Now that teachers have to include sex education in schools, the latest reports say that they are reluctant to do so.

Sex education is an emotive topic and a tricky subject. When schools give too much information, they will be criticised. With too little information, the gaps in knowledge might be supplemented in an unhealthy manner.

The secretary-general of the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), Lok Yim Pheng, voiced the union's full support of the government's move for sex education in schools but lamented that, "teachers lack formal training in the complexity and sensitivity of the subject and are not confident to teach it." Some teachers feared being sued by parents for imparting sexual knowledge to their children.

Currently, school children are taught the biological facts of reproduction in science periods, at secondary school level.

sex-educationIf we are serious about tackling the increasing numbers of unwed mothers, most of whom are students, then sex and relationship education is critical. We must teach children about relationships, responsibilities, and the social and emotional side of sexual behaviour.

As children are sexually active at an earlier age these days, sex education should be made compulsory and be taught in line with the ethos and values of the school. Maybe, what needs to be done is for a survey of parents, to be commissioned by the government, for the parents' feedback.

It is important that faith schools are prevented from opting out of teaching sex education. Children at these schools could be taught according to their beliefs that sexual relationships outside of marriage, is forbidden. Although their religion frowns on the use of contraceptives, young people must not be denied information about contraception outside of marriage, and so must be taught about the use of prophylactics.

What is important is to teach children about puberty and the facts of life, the differences between boys and girls, healthy relationships, different kinds of relationships (hetero and homosexual), body image and self-confidence.

At secondary school level, pupils should know about contraception, HIV and Aids, pregnancy, effects of drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, responsibility, abortions and importance of relationships.

As in any teaching, the weakest point is the quality of the teachers and their treatment of the subject. Teachers must be strict and disciplined with pupils who might want to misconstrue why sex education is being taught.

Simultaneously, a group of trained teachers to provide counseling services must be made available for any student with problems of a sexual nature, to be discussed in confidence.

Perhaps, the main message is that sex education is not about teaching young children to "have sex". It is to give them an idea about relationships, to be developed as they get older. It might help if the sex education was kept purely scientific, as opposed to calling it pleasurable or 'making love'.

courtesy of Malaysian Mirror


Kena said...

I have read adult blog.It is very useful to all adults and also singles. In this situations sex knowledge is important for those adults. In those days, there was a feeling that, with the start of television and greater prosperity, with adult people enjoying more freedom.

Nagarajan L V said...

High Schools are being considered as one of those places where education on sex could be imparted. In proceeding to provide such a system of sex education, a lot of thought should be given in commencing, maintaining and improving such a system. We should be careful about four major aspects of this education: they are a) the content, b) the candidate, c) the class and d) the counsellor.......In many cultures including ours, premarital sex is not accepted. Hence sex education can only start at an age close to marriageable age. We should also allow our children to remain as children for as long a period of time as possible...... The teachers should have impeccable moral values. They should generally be happily married persons. They should have undergone special training in sexology. They should be further trained by a panel of doctors, biologists, psychologists and social scientist on the contents of sex education.(As proposed in my blog). For more click