DepEd on sex ed: It's not about sex

The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified Friday that sex education classroom discussions this schoolyear will not be about the sex act but about the science of reproduction, physical care and hygiene, correct values and the norms of interpersonal relations to avoid premarital sex and teenage pregnancy.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno issued the clarification amid negative reactions from some sectors, particularly the church, about the announcement that sex education will be offered on a pilot test basis to 79 public high schools and 80 public elementary schools this schoolyear.

According to Valisno, the modules that will be integrated in core subjects are scientific and informative. They are not designed to titillate prurient interest.

"For example in Science, the reproductive system and reproductive cycle have always been part of the curriculum including the changes that happen during puberty,” Valisno explained.

“Our role here is to educate our young people on issues that directly affect them and empower them to make informed choices and decisions,“ Valisno emphasized.

Sex education will be integrated in existing subjects in the current curriculum used by the schools under the pilot testing program.

In Science, sex education topics will cover the reproductive system, parts of the body, reproductive cycle, and puberty.

Under Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP), proper behavior among and between peers of different genders will be discussed.

In Health classes under MAPEH (Music, Arts, PE and Health), personal hygiene and reproductive health will be part of the lessons.

In Heograpiya, Kasaysayan, at Sibika (HEKASI) classes, discussion will include the position of religion on premarital sex and the norms when people of opposite sex interact.

Finally, in Math classes, data on issues like premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections will be used in studying mathematical analysis and statistics.

According to Valisno, psychologists were among those who helped prepare the modules "because we want to ensure that specific topics for discussions will be made in the appropriate year levels.”

Topics requiring a more mature audience will be discussed in the latter years in high school.

Training on using the modules has already begun, with two batches of teachers already finished. A third batch is being prepared for training this year.

Valisno reiterated that DepEd is still open for consultations with other sectors. “The next administration will be the one to decide whether to implement this fully, revise the modules, apply on selected schools, or totally scrap it,” she said.



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