THE controversial “sex education” modules may be heading back to the drawing board, as incoming Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro is looking to “defer” the implementation for as long as he is at the helm of the Education department. According to sources from within the agency, Luistro, while considering the importance of such subject, will follow the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) call to shelve the plan.
According to the source, Luistro who meet with CBCP officials before accepting the post, was told to scrap the project.
“Secretary Luistro was actually given marching orders by the CBCP to shelve the project,” the source said.
This as outgoing Education Secretary Mona Valisno said that the modules that were planned to be integrated in the basic education curriculum this school year is now with the CBCP for its perusal and review.
Valisno said Bishop Oscar Cruz told her the modules were already with them and are being reviewed before the CBCP would make its recommendations.
“The good bishop told me that the modules we gave them are now with the Pontifical Council for the Family,” Valisno said adding they got the chance to talk when they met Friday night.
Cruz, she said emphasized that “Sex is sacred. Done inside marriage, which is held as a holy union of two souls, it is a component of procreation.”
The Education department chief who earlier said the department will pursue the teaching of sex education, welcomes the CBCP’s comment and opinion on the modules.
“This exchange of ideas is good,” said Valisno. “We have always maintained that we are open for dialog with any interest groups so we assuage their fears and assure them that what we are doing is child-friendly.”
The CBCP are among the sectors strenuously opposed to teaching sex education in the country’s schools successfully blocking a similar initiative by the education department in 2005.
Education department has repeatedly explained to the public that their sex education learning modules focus on adolescence, health and wellness, and proper values and character development.
Valisno adds that they will also include lesson guides in spiritual development as recommended by Bishops Reuben Abante and Efraim Tendero of the Presidential Council for Values Formation.
Sex education will initially be pilot-tested in some 80 elementary and 79 secondary schools nationwide though the Education department said they are still in the consultation stage at present.
The topic would be pilot-tested in schools in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Sultan Kudarat and Sulu as well as in Olongapo City, Mountain Province, Masbate, Ifugao, Eastern Samar and Bohol.
Last week, Valisno and Education Undersecretary Ramon Bacani were sued by a group of parents led by losing Ang Kapatiran Party senatorial Jo Aurea Imbong before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
The petitioners were seeking an injunction to prevent Education department from implementing the plan, which they said is “unconstitutional.” (by: FRANCIS EARL A. CUETO, http://www.manilatimes.net/)