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Monday, May 25, 2009

Talk about the birds and the bees

Letter from Geraldine Wee

I refer to “Not until Aware regains trust: Education Minister” (May 22). I regret to hear Aware president Dana Lam’s remarks that the association feels the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) move to stop them from teaching sex education classes is “regrettable” and caused by “considerable pressure from parents”.

Perhaps what Ms Lam fails to see is that there were no complaints for two years not because parents agreed to what their syllabus taught, but because they were ill-informed and ignorant about what their kids were being exposed to. Sure, there may have been some good facts on sexually transmitted infections and HIV but that does not excuse the other areas which are against the norm of society and the parameters set by the Government.

I doubt that the MOE was pressured by parents to act; they acted based on the facts they were confronted with in the handbook.

I am relieved though, that the MOE has given very definite guidelines on what will be taught during such classes and that parents will be given handouts clearly stating what is being taught in class. It is not just students who need to be informed, parents too need to be educated on how to support and talk to their children about issues of sexuality.

Parents need to be more open and encouraging so that it does not get awkward for their kids to ask them about sex. Parents must play an active role in guiding their children — it is neither the MOE’s nor the school’s responsibility.

From TODAYOnline.com, Voices – Monday, 25-May-2009; see the source article here.


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