Philippine Schools to Benefit Reproductive Health Program

Over 150 public and private schools are set to benefit from a program recently launched by the Department of Education (DepEd) and a private education stakeholder, that would help in making female students understand physical change or the so-called puberty stage and the reproductive health system also known as sex education.

The program, dubbed as Kotex YOU-niversity program aims to help the female students understand how the body works and function, teach them the proper hygiene and provide value formation.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said that a series of learning modules was created to help increase the Body Life IQ among adolescent female students. Body Life IQ is the ability of an individual to comprehend how the body works and how this affects one’s life.

Lapus said that the initial participants in the said program are public and private schools in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cebu and Davao. Of the said number, 46 are public schools that have been nominated by DepEd Division offices.

The program consists of Teacher Training, School Plenary Assembly, Kotex You-niversity Learning Modules, and Teacher Incentive Program.

Earlier, DepEd Assistant Secretary Teresita Inciong clarified that sex awareness or more appropriately called reproductive health is actually integrated in different subjects under the current elementary curriculum.

She, however, stressed that the focus of the information under the subjects is more on hygiene, body function and assumption during the child physical change or the so-called puberty stage while the reproductive health system, value formation, and population education are discussed in Science and Health and Social Science and family education subjects, respectively.

In 2005 DepEd came out with a module that extensively involved teaching the reproductive health among elementary students and identified a pilot school where it would be initially be taught and implemented.

However, the DepEd stopped the undertaking when the Catholic Church and other religious groups raised a howl and prevented its further implementation.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) batted for the inclusion of “sex education” in the basic education curriculum amidst the proliferation of sex videos and other pornographic materials.

Antonio Tinio, national chair of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), said teaching the subject to adolescents will enable them to be oriented on the topic of sex as well as raise awareness on the ill-effects of premarital sex.

“The youth should have a venue for intelligent and mature discussion of responsible attitudes towards sex,” Tinio said, noting that teenagers are presently not getting the proper information regarding sex. (PNA)

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