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Manila flip-flops on sex education

Education officials of the Philippines decided to pull-out modules on sex education after the powerful Catholic Church opposed the teaching of sex in schools.

The Philippines has a high population growth rate. Studies from the academe also point out that teens are becoming sexually active at earlier years. The Philippines is also the only Catholic-dominated country in Asia.

Despite the resistance from Church hierarchy, education officials want to continue distributing sex education modules in public schools this year. They agree to temporarily remove the modules to consult more people, including religious leaders, on how to teach the delicate subject to students.

Meanwhile, Senator Pia Cayetano defended the teaching of reproductive health in schools saying this promotes the “general well-being and health of the people.”

Buwahyahman described the Church opposition to sex education as “a kind of medieval thinking that promotes ignorance rather than enlightenment.”

Bishop Oscar Cruz in his blog, Viewpoints, recommended the following:

“Sex education especially with its human dimension and moral consideration are better left to the parents of the students—the father and the mother themselves giving formational sex education to their boy and girl children respectively.”

Sex education is also a topic in the government’s forum section in its official website.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Reynold C. Benedicto, Jr.

    Sex education should be imposed as a part of the Philippine’s Department of Education curriculum.
    Yes, it may be a vital and sensitive kind of matter which most of the school teachers, heads and especially the church,will disagree,but a adolescents…teens must be educated or informed about this matter which will not only concern them and their future, but also the future of the society.
    They say,”Home is our first school”,wherein our first teachers are our parents.And according to the CBCP, parents should be the ones who are responsible for educating their own children and not letting some incompetent teachers do the job.How can we be sure that most parents can educate there children about this serious matter, wherein we all know that most of the parents are incapacitated to communicate with their children as well as the children to their parents, because of shyness and sensitivity. Some parents also do not have the time to talk with there children because they themselves are not educated about this before having their own family.
    Let us as ask ourselves first before opposing upon such critical and sensitive matter………

  • Alex

    I just come across today with the articles about SEX EDUCATION as part of the School Curriculum in the Philippines.

    Actually, I am having a RESEACH on what’s going on with the Philippines in terms of HIV/AIDS Prevention Care and Support for the Filipino Youth in preparation for my attendance to the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Colombo, Sri Lanka this August 17-23, 2007.

    I am not really sure if SEX EDUCATION is being implemented in schools around the country today (that’s why I am having my Research), but based on my observation, I think it’s not and I am SAD to think about the reasons behind the cancelation of DepEd’s plan to include it in the curriculum.

    First of all, I just want to introduce myself.

    I am Mr. Alex, diagnosed of HIV last March/April 2006 at the age of 19 years old. Right now I am working as a Volunteer in an NGO working for Filipinos with HIV/AIDS.

    Being one of the Filipinos living with HIV at young age, I can say that it is really very difficult for me to catch up with my life after I’ve known my status. My life really turned 360 degree.

    The lack of good programs for people like me and for the YOUTH at RISK of HIV/AIDS today pushed me to dedicate myself even in my own little way to help in minimizing the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

    It’s so SAD that there is NO CONCRETE PROGRAMS by the government for the YOUTH in terms of HIV/ AIDS Prevention.

    I think, if SEX EDUCATION in schools will be realized, this could make a difference on the existing problem on the growing numbers of Filipinos and young people being infected with HIV today.

    I believe that through SEX EDUCATION, we will be providing the YOUNG GENERATION the CHOICES for them to chose so that they will be prepared in the event that they will face the REAL LIFE SITUATION.

    SEX is a very CONTROVERSIAL issue, especially in Catholic dominated countries, but I think this should not be a hindrance for us to EDUCATE the people on this matter.

    Remember that we have the so called RIGHT TO HEALTH and RIGHT TO EDUCATION…

    if we won’t EDUCATE our YOUTH today on Sexual matters, how are we going to PREPARE them in the event that they will be confronted with these issues?

    it maybe right that parents should be the one to EDUCATE them on this matter, but I think NOT all parents are ready for this, or worst, some don’t even know about this matter…

    I think it’s better if BOTH parents and teachers in school will work hand in hand to educate the YOUNG GENERATION on SEXUAL MATTERS.

    I don’t see any BAD effect on its implementation…it’s just like the teachings in Nursing/ Medical schools….

    The more we learn, the more we understand ourselves and the things around us…

    it’s time that we bring the issue to those who are mostly affected….

    LET the CHILDREN decide….

    and COUNT ME IN!!!

    SEX EDUCATION should be part of Philippine School’s Curriculum!

    • Jade

      I agree with you Alex I am also currently doing a survey for sex education implementation in school as a thesis

  • Joan Manlunas

    Manila flip-flops on sex education
    a small portrait of this author
    Tuesday, July 4th, 2006 @ 03:26 UTC
    by Mong Palatino

    Mr. Palatino please correct your data. It is unsound for a writer to barge in to argue on bases of unfounded information.

    The pull out of the SEX education was NOT due to the opposition of the BISHOPS of the catholic church BUT due to a scholarly presentation of Dr. Angelita Aguirre of the Makati Medical Center on the EVIL EFFECTS of SEX EDUCATION on the young filipino minds.

    If you want to know more about it, you can always email me. Dr. Aguirre has a monthly talk on this matter. She should be able to scholarly present to you the whole issue.. Not the myopic view.

    • martin

      what does the presentation particularly talk about?

  • joey myoko-butulan

    A lot of youh nowadays doesnt know the fortes and watreloos of engaging to early sex. But due to curiousity and stuff, young pinoys do try and experience for themselves this earthly need. But what is really the cause of this dillema?

    I, as one of the student leader in our school want to help the government in their campaign to decrease the cases of sexual violence in the country.

    On the other hand, I dont think that imposing sex eductaion to schools (elementary and high school and colleges and universities too) would help the us in irradicating this problem.

    In the staus quo, we already have 9 subjects taught in high schools such are english, mathematics, araling panlipunan, science, values edcation, livelihood and technologgy, physical education , makabayan etc. These subjects are being taught to students for 10 months ( more or less). Its ironic that teaching 9 subjects is already a burden for some students, how much m0re if we are going to add another subject? right? And who will teavh this subject? We cannot simply pick from our dear teachers that, hey! you teach tis one!…Sex is very crucial yet if you teach sex education you must be very lookful to the words, see to it that it wont hurt somebody else.

    Furthermore, statistics show that sex education is not preventing hence it is promoting premarital sex because of the contraceptives and other preventions in the module. It makes them more adventurous experementing sex.

    Sex is a natural catastrophe. WE need to be educated in order for us to know the risks and prevent the possibilities taht might happen to us if we engage to it. But more than education what the youth need is love , understanding, patience and guidance of their parents. It comforts and protect more than education.

  • syubskee

    i believe that without enough knowledge we will be ignorant of something else. im a college student and right know we are having a debate whether to impose sex ed to schools. education is a powerful tool especially to those with young minds…a gossip or a talk could educate a person in a way that he or she is getting knowledge and information from it. a little conversation about this delicate word “sex” could pop curiosity to young people especially teenagers who in these years are very explorative. for me, sex education could be an instrument to let this young minds divert their thinking for that delicate word. this campaign could help them be more aware of what are the disadvantages of that act done in an unappropriate time and age. we must be optimistic about it for today many sexual diseases are arising. with proper instruction, a young mind could process it (i can say that because even elemtary students are being taught with some pathophysiology of diseases in their science subjects, which requires great pick-up). I know students nowadays are very opt to new knowledge and “in” thing. if we will make “disadvantages of early sex” as the in thing, maybe students will get rid of that act. televisions and magazines could contribute and those “fleshy looking” things must be covered so as not to be a stimulus to “playing minds”.

    • Colina, Jade C.

      I do believe that there is the need of implementation of sex education in the curriculum of highschool and college. I am a current college student, taking up psychology and is currently doing a thesis entitled the possible links to students’ views on Sexuality: Basis for integration of an expanded sex education in school. I hope you can help me make the questionaires. Where questions would ask of how the students speak to their parents about sex and what topics they want to include in sex education.

  • katrina

    i think the needs of the youth today is the knowledge about sex.We all know that it is a taboo subject,but why dont we openly discussed it in class?For me, having sex education certainly clarified a lot of things and answered so many questions we had in our minds. Nowadays a lot of teenage pregnancies are being reported and i think one major factor that contributes to this is a lack or knowledge about sex.many teenagers engage in sex because they are curios.Probably like me,I have a lot of questions that i want answered. But unlike me,they probably did not have sex education in class,so they attempt to find the answer for themselves. Unfortunately in doing so, they get an added souvenir which they are to have nine months later. Isn’t it so depressing to know that many teenage pregnancies could have been prevented if only the youngsters are more knowledgeable about sex and it’s consequences? And for that reason alone, I strongly believe that Sex Education should be included in the schools curriculum..
    Many conservative people may contest this,claiming sex education will just corrupt the teenagers minds,that it is immoral and vulgar to openly discuss it,that they would even appear to be encouraging them to do it.
    Well, I do not think that discussing about sex in class is crude, I think it depends on how the sex education teacher handles the matter. If he/she talks about it without malice and treat it as a natural thing (which is really is) I do not think he/she will be polluting the minds of his/her students. Moreover, i think it is better for teenagers to learn about sex from somebody whom they respect & who can give them correct information concerning about it than learn about it from pornographic materials which do not say anything about the consequences and responsibilities that they will be facing if they engage in it..

    “Sex is not a dirty thing; it is how people perceive it to makes it dirty.”

  • nadz’22

    ahm.. does anyone have a history of sex education here in the Philippines?.. *when, why and how it started?* i really can’t find any!.. hmp.. anyway.. your comments are great.. *nosebleed na ko weh* lufet..

    honestly speaking i’m both pro and anti to sex education implemented in schools.. i’m currently working on my term paper entitled “The Necessity of Sex Education in Every Family” which is to be submitted later and damn, its not yt finished!.. whew! well in my opinion, in this kind of world we’re living right now, sex is no longer that-taboo.. Almost everyone already knows what it is, even the kids.. and we have to be alarmed.. this calls for more guidance..

    I like the idea of openly discussing sex BUT I hardly suggest it to start in the family.. Because above all the people surrounding us, it’s our parents who knows us most. They know our limitations and the level of our understanding which could be taken for granted in the schools.. we have different levels of sensitivity.. such term may be alright to this kid while its kinda malicious to the other one.. *i hope you’re still w/ me.. eheheh*

    wait.. i’ll be back..
    i’ll just finish my paper.. i almost forgot about it.. *i’m running out of time!* whew.. btw.. thanks for your opinions!.. hahah.. very useful.. ^,^

  • bea

    i think in conjunction with sex education, a behavioral modification program through values education, mentoring program has to be strengthened in schools. The approach of values education among high school students should be altered. Not the lecture boring type of education but the application of values in our daily lives, implication of our actions, how to handle peer pressure, right attitude in coping with stress(alltypes) and many more topics to be discussed that youth can be interested because they experience it themselves. Self awareness and self-esteem among the youth has to be enriched in this program. Because, although we say that values and sex education comes from the family, not all youth who were not educated at home, or youth that grew in a disastrous family will also be the same.(but of course, there is a greater chance it would happen) They have to know how to appreciate themselves, their uniqueness as a person, they have to know proper values and its implication in their lives, because premarital sex, alcohol abuse, smoking, violence and other youth problems rooted on lack of proper values education and education regarding their reproductive health. Most of the problematic youth lacks self-esteem, encouragement, love and attention so they find it with others through sexual relationship, alcohola and drug abuse and friends whom they think can understand them.

  • Pingback: Philippines Department of Education launches Sex Education in High School | Basapa

  • alaeh_Magdalo

    if the churchmen will feed the excess members of the family following their teaching then i will obey them.

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