MOE responds to queries about sex education
On Jan 26, AWARE received the following response from the Ministry of Education (MOE), in reply to a letter containing our feedback on alleged revisions to sexuality education in schools here.
Dear Ms Lim,
I refer to your letter to the Minister for Education in which you raised concerns about the news article “Abstinence over Contraception?” (The New Paper, Dec 26, 2011).
I would like to reassure AWARE that MOE’s Sexuality Education programme is not just about abstinence, but helping our young understand the physiological, social and emotional changes they experience as they mature. We believe it is important to help our young develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex and teach them to make responsible life-long choices.
To do that, our review and delivery of the sexuality education programme in school had taken into consideration the sensitivities of our multi-racial and multi-religious society. We have held consultation sessions with parents, school personnel, students, health professionals and religious leaders to listen to their views as well as their concerns.
While abstinence is promoted as the best option for teens, MOE recognises that, beyond knowing how to say no, students need to be taught about the consequences of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs/HIV) and teenage pregnancies, and how to prevent them. For this, we have worked very closely with the Health Promotion Board since 2006 on the Breaking Down Barriers (BDB) programme.
Thank you for writing to us. We have noted your inputs. With the support of the parents and the community, we can achieve better outcomes for our young in terms of their sexual health and well-being.
Ms Grace Ng
Deputy Director, Guidance Branch, Student Development Curriculum Division
Ministry of Education
Read AWARE’s letter here.