‘No Need to Train Sex Ed Teachers’
This is despite calls for it by several quarters, including the National Union of the Teaching Profession and Federation of Reproductive Health Association.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the existing teachers would teach the subject for 40 minutes, twice a month in secondary schools and 30 minutes a week in primary schools.
“I don’t think the teachers will have a problem teaching the subject as it has been in the education system.
“The only difference is that it was incorporated with other subjects and now it is to be taught on its own,” he told the New Straits Times.
Elements of the subject were introduced in secondary schools in 1989 and in primary schools since 1994 under physical education. The new subject will include family values, saying no to drugs and premarital sex, importance of preserving self-respect and emotional management.
Puad said sex education would make up 75 per cent of the lesson.
“We hope the knowledge we impart to children will reduce the incidence of social ills afflicting the young today, especially having sex at an early age, pregnancies before marriage, baby dumping, rape and incest,” he said.
More than 300 Form Four students from five urban and rural schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Pahang had, in the past five years, gone through a pioneer programme called “I am in Control” which revealed there was a significant increase in awareness as well as better knowledge and attitude among the participating students.
The programme was formulated by the National Population and Family Development Board with the cooperation of the United Nations Population Fund and Health Ministry.
The module addressed the lack of information about the subject and inculcates a healthy lifestyle through information on sexuality issues, and aims to prevent pregnancies, unsafe abortions, abandoned babies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Federation of Reproductive Health Malaysia vice-president Tan Sri Napsiah Omar said she welcomed the introduction of the subject in school, but felt that teachers should be introduced to the new curriculum through weekend workshops.
“It is a new module and teachers must be comfortable teaching children without making them feel frightened and fearful. It should be taught in such a way that enhances knowledge, gives them a new experience of respecting each others’ gender, emotions and physiological developments besides instilling family values and sex after marriage.”
NUTP secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said recently that educationists should be given comprehensive training so that they would not become targets for litigation from parents if they made mistakes when teaching students.
10 December 2010
By Annie Freeda Cruez