Monday, August 31, 2009

Sex Education in Malaysia

A Little Story about Sex Survey

About half of all young Malaysians don't know how babies are born.

A National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) survey had also found that two in five do not know where the foetus develops. Half of those surveyed did not know that the male and female reproductive organs are.

The Malaysian population and family survey, which polled some 1,700 respondents between the ages of 13 and 24, revealed the dept of ignorance among the young in basic sexual and reproductive health.

The respondents were from all races and from urban and rural areas across the country. Carried out by LPPKN every 10 years, the survey tested respondents on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives and reproductive organs.

The topic of sex education has long been a subject of debate, and Malaysia came close to implementing it in 2006 after the Cabinet gave the nod. But, it appears to have fallen by the wayside.

Sex education does not mean we are giving the youngsters a license to have sex. It is to arm them with proper knowledge and to teach them to practise healthy sexual behaviour, and to be responsible for their own actions. Children today are exposed to so many things they think is sex education, but it's not. Pornography, for example, is a very perverted form of sex.

More focus should be placed on preventive measures instead of kneejerk reactions to cases like abandoned babies. Too much funds have been allocated to fix problems instead of adressing them at the source. We shouldn't let our kids reach the stage where they have to seek abortions. We should prevent that from happening. And, we teach them abstinence but also arm them with knowledge about safe sex.

A World Health Organisation study on 19 countries that have a system of sex education in place showed that sex education did not hasten sexual activities. On the contrary, it delayed sexual activities and led to safer sex.

Sex Education: The Story So Far

>> January 1991: The National Union of Teaching Profession disagreed with a suggestion to allow films and videotapes depicting sexual scenes to be used for educational purposes.

>> September 1992: The Cabinet Committee on AIDS proposed that sex education, with emphasis on AIDS preventation, be taught to Form Two pupils.

>> October 1992: The Education Ministry decided not to use the term "sex education" for the subject on sex as it can be misconstrued by the public. It woild be known as "family health education" and taught to only secondary school students.

>> December 1994: Sex education would be introduced as a subject called "family life education" for students from Forms Two to Five beginning the 1995/96 school term, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn.

>> September 1998: The proposal to include sex education in schools has been perceived negatively by some parents and groups in the society, said the Federation of Family Associations.

>> April 2000: Sex education was taught in Penang under a pilot project involving Form 3 students in 15 schools.

>> December 2003: Teachers would be given guidelines on how to approach subjets on sexuality early next year, said the National Unity and Social Development Ministry.

>> December 2006: The Cabinet gave the green light to introduce sex education into the school syllabus at all levels, said the Ministry of Education.

>> December 2006: A sum of RM20 million had been allocated to provide training, campaigns and promotional materials for sex education, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

>> March 2007: A plan to expand the scope of the sex education programme beyond students was holding back the roll-out of the guidelines.

>> May 2008: Sex education and the danger of HIV and AIDS would be introduced under the National Service training programme starting October, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.

>> November 2008: Sex education was unlikely to be introduced in the National Service training, said NS Training Council chairman Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, as feedback from various quarters had not been received.

Mansid @ I am Malaysian Blogger

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1 comment:

Mark said...

Hi Mansid,

Perhaps a reason for the "family life education" survey's poor results is the limitation of the survey itself.

They only polled 1,700 youths out of Malaysia's population of about 27 million. And if they did indeed take a good spread of people in urban and rural areas, then not all of those youths would have had access to proper, consistent education.