DepEd says teaching sex education would be based on approval of parents

August 12, 2010 7:38 am 

MANILA, Aug. 11 -– Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Wednesday said that it is amenable to non-compulsory teaching of sex education in the country’s public schools.

Luistro clarified that this should still be based on the approval of the parents, adding that it would be much better if parents themselves would attend the sex education classes.

“It is in our Constitution that every one of us is entitled to learn based on one’s own religious beliefs. After the regular classes ay open naman ang ating mga silid-paaralan pero sa mga Katoliko lang as long as with the permission of their parents,” Luistro said.

Though he acknowledged he is sensitive to religious beliefs of the people, especially with regard to such a ticklish issue, the DepEd chief said he will not base his decision on whether to include sex education in the curriculum on pressure from any group or sector.

“Ayaw ko talaga na magdesisyon base sa pressure ng isang group o sektor sa lipunan. Lahat naman mapag-uusapan dahil pag binase natin sa pressure, mangyayari n’yan we will be imposing the belief of one over the belief of another,” he added.

Earlier, Luistro said he is confident that the objection of the Catholic Church on sex education can be overcome as the topic is fuelled more by cultural rather than religious issues.

He said Catholic schools are already teaching the subject in the form of good moral and right conduct, human anatomy, psychology and reproduction.

"Iba-iba tayo ng definition about sex education but I think it’s not about religion, it’s more about culture. What I’m saying is there are a lot of questions na hindi maintindihan and they are using the Church as the problem. But actually, if we want to solve this, dapat mauna ang cultural," he explained.

Luistro said the sex education will be included in the review of the current basic education curriculum adding that he wanted to hear the voices of all stakeholders before coming up with a decision.

He said such a review with the participation of stakeholders would address the questions and issues related to sex education.

The review is part of the overall plan of the DepEd to “enhance” the basic curriculum which would also include adding two more years to the current 10-year basic education cycle.

The topic is supposed to be pilot-tested in some 80 elementary and 79 secondary schools nationwide but fierce opposition from the religious sector prompted the DepEd to temporarily shelve the implementation and proceed with the consultation process. (PNA)

DCT/HCT

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