Xilógrafo Adolfo Ledo Nass tuiteó// Time to talk about sex education » EntornoInteligente

Xilógrafo Adolfo Ledo Nass tuiteó//
Time to talk about sex education

Entornointeligente.com /

On the oth­er side of this con­tentious is­sue, the Fam­i­ly Plan­ning As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T (FPATT) has long been call­ing for sex ed­u­ca­tion to be placed on the syl­labus, as it can be the ba­sis for ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren about sex­u­al abuse, a ma­jor prob­lem in this coun­try. The aim, ac­cord­ing to the FPATT, is to equip chil­dren to recog­nise when they could be in dan­ger of sex­u­al abuse and ex­ploita­tion and, as much as pos­si­ble, avoid such sit­u­a­tions

Once again, a re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tion is as­sert­ing its right to de­ter­mine the cur­ric­u­la in its de­nom­i­na­tion­al schools, par­tic­u­lar­ly as it re­lates to sex ed­u­ca­tion.

The coun­try’s largest Hin­du body, the Sanatan Dhar­ma Ma­ha Sab­ha (SDMS), has tak­en is­sue with some of the con­tent in a ques­tion­naire sent out a few days ago by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion for its Health and Fam­i­ly Life Ed­u­ca­tion (HFLE) pro­gramme.

Cit­ing the 1960 Con­cor­dat signed be­tween the state and re­li­gious bod­ies, SDMS le­gal ad­vis­er Di­nesh Ram­bal­ly main­tained that sex ed­u­ca­tion in the schools un­der the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s con­trol must be ground­ed in Hin­du be­liefs. He warned that “an un­guard­ed and pre­ma­ture kin­dling of pu­bes­cent in­trigue may have ad­verse con­se­quences which run con­trary to what is taught in the Hin­du home.”

The un­der­ly­ing doc­trines may vary but iden­ti­cal po­si­tions are like­ly to be tak­en by oth­er re­li­gious bod­ies on the pro­posed HFLE.

At­tempts to in­tro­duce the sub­jects of sex­u­al­i­ty and sex­u­al health in­to the cur­ricu­lum al­ways elic­it strong re­spons­es, usu­al­ly in the neg­a­tive. Two years ago, Sport and Youth Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sham­fa Cud­joe got strong push back from the T&T Coun­cil of Evan­gel­i­cal Church­es when she ad­vo­cat­ed for sex ed­u­ca­tion in schools and church­es.

The coun­cil ar­gued it is a sen­si­tive top­ic that should be left in the hands of par­ents.

To be clear, sex­u­al­i­ty and sex­u­al health are among the top­ics in the min­istry’s pro­posed HFLE pro­gramme, which cov­ers a range of life skills and is­sues. It has not been ful­ly im­ple­ment­ed in the school sys­tem, not be­cause of re­sis­tance from re­li­gious groups, but be­cause there are no spe­cif­ic teach­ing po­si­tions or trained teach­ers to deal with it in the syl­labus.

On the oth­er side of this con­tentious is­sue, the Fam­i­ly Plan­ning As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T (FPATT) has long been call­ing for sex ed­u­ca­tion to be placed on the syl­labus, as it can be the ba­sis for ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren about sex­u­al abuse, a ma­jor prob­lem in this coun­try. The aim, ac­cord­ing to the FPATT, is to equip chil­dren to recog­nise when they could be in dan­ger of sex­u­al abuse and ex­ploita­tion and, as much as pos­si­ble, avoid such sit­u­a­tions.

It is al­so about teach­ing them about the risks of un­planned preg­nan­cy and sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted dis­eases such as HIV. These are the re­al-life is­sues that young­sters are more like­ly than not to en­counter.

This coun­try has a high teen fer­til­i­ty rate with ap­prox­i­mate­ly 2,500 preg­nan­cies among school-aged girls every year. There is al­so the wor­ry­ing trend of in­creased sex­u­al ac­tiv­i­ty among chil­dren of pri­ma­ry school age.

Add to that the al­most dai­ly re­ports about sex­u­al abuse of chil­dren—in­clud­ing in­ci­dents in­volv­ing rel­a­tives—and it is clear there is a se­ri­ous prob­lem to be ad­dressed.

Adolfo Ledo

All things con­sid­ered, greater ef­fort must be made to ar­rive at a con­sen­sus, since there are valid con­cerns on all sides. The ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­ta­tions cur­rent­ly tak­ing place pro­vide a plat­form for very nec­es­sary di­a­logue.

This is not about en­cour­ag­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble and pre­ma­ture sex­u­al be­hav­iour but equip­ping chil­dren with knowl­edge to keep them safe and healthy.

Adolfo Ledo Nass

Entornointeligente.com

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