Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sex Education for Children from Four

Guidelines on sex education finalised

Masturbation, Sexual Behaviors, Sexual Fantasies, Condoms, Contraceptives, HIV/AIDS, abortion, marriage and divorce, and sexually-transmitted diseases forms part of the curriculum of Sex Education that will be introduced to all Malaysian students beginning next year.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the guidelines were a good start as they would give everyone concerned some idea of the direction to follow. “I hope that with the cooperation of everyone, the guidelines will help to reduce incidences of rape, child abuse, sexual deviancy and Internet porn, among other things. “Everyone should play their part, from parents to schools and the community at large, to educate the young on sexuality,” he said. Once the guidelines are approved, the Education Ministry will look into the school curriculum to see whether changes need to be made to certain subjects in terms of content, especially Physical and Health Education (PJK).

Hishammuddin said that he would love to introduce sex education as a subject, but I have to balance this with other education priorities and needs,” he said.

National Unity and Social Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said that Sex education is aimed at giving young people the knowledge and skills to understand their emotional and physical growth and to face today’s challenges.

NUTP expressed concerned that teachers may not be properly trained to teach and handle such a sensitive subject.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), teachers and parents interviewed stressed the need for a careful selection of the teachers who will be tasked with this. Teachers, they said, should not colour their teaching with their own prejudices.

Sex education, long taboo in Asian societies, will be formally taught to children from the age of four next year. Guidelines on handling the subject will be tabled at a Cabinet meeting by Education Minister Hishammuddin.

Protect And Save The Children Association director Madeline Yong welcomed the move, saying it was "developmentally appropriate" to start sexuality education with children as young as three or four. "Pre-schoolers will be taught simple things such as the proper names of body parts, so that if anything happens to them, they will be able to tell their parents. Children and teenagers have the right to such information," she said. Yong, who was part of the technical committee which developed the guidelines, called for the curriculum to be introduced as soon as possible in schools. "Our only concern is that this is just a framework. A curriculum has to be developed and implemented. Teachers have to be trained to impart information on subjects such as sexuality and sexual abuse. "I suggest that non-governmental organisations be roped in to train the teachers," she said.

NUTP president Ismail Nihat said: "It is vital that the Government looks over the plans carefully before implementing sex education in schools. "I hope they will carefully select the teachers, as this subject must be handled with care. There must be guidelines for the teachers, who should be properly trained."

Muhammad Munis Musa, 28, a secondary school teacher, commended the Education Ministry and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on the move. "Implementation is not going to be easy. The teachers need to be trained in their method of delivery. It requires sensitivity and tact from them and parents of students.“

Zuraida Said, 41, said the subject must be dealt with without prejudice. "As a parent, I fully support the idea, but teaching it as a single subject would require teachers to have a high sense of professional integrity and morality and they must be capable of teaching it without passing on their own prejudices," she said.

Psychologist Datuk Dr Mat Saat Baki said sex education was vital for children. "People should be more open-minded about the subject," he said. "Of course, it should be delivered according to proper guidelines, and those involved must be qualified.

"Form One student Ranjali Ragupathy, 13, said she was looking forward to having sex education in school. "Sex education is necessary for youths so that they will know what it is about and this in turn could prevent sexual crimes such as rape. I think it is a good idea as we need information from credible sources," she said, adding that whatever she knew about sex so far came from romance novels and friends.

I just wonder, whether those that had spoken understand what they are talking about and understand the risk and consequences that are inherent in teaching such subject to primary school children.

Clearly, if the ministry had done a survey of similar education in Europe and USA, we would have notice that such sex education had not brought much benefits. On the contrary, many had commented that it was fallacious and a waste of time. You can check at the various websites on such articles.

If the Americans and British had found it unfruitful and fallacious, are we saying that Malaysians can do better? Is this another Malaysia Boleh thing???

It is a mystic to hear that sex education can reduce rape and incest, and reduce sexual crimes.

There were suggestions that teachers should not pass on their personal prejudice. Is it possible? Every person had their own experience on sexual matters and how each of us perceived sex is based on the emphirical knowledge we have had through the passage of sexual relationship. Do people have the same taste and style of sexual behaviors and acts? It's draws much paranoia.

Confucious said: We will reap what we sow.

Let's wait and see the outcome. I am not an oxymoron, but I certainly would not allow my daughter to attend the class.

Best of luck to all those who had daughters in primary schools. I sincerely hope we won't have 10-12 year-old kids pregnated by school teachers.

Hate me now, but take care of your daughters.

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lucia said...

why are all these teachers female? aren't there report of any male teachers having sex with a minor (student)?




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