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Parents Divided on Sex Education

Parents Divided on Sex Education

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Published by Lee Chye Ewe
Lee Chye Ewe expresses his views on Sex Education in Malaysia
Lee Chye Ewe expresses his views on Sex Education in Malaysia

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Published by: Lee Chye Ewe on Mar 26, 2011
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11/22/2012

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Parents divided on sex education
The Borneo Post
byChok Sim Yee, Adrian Nandu, Christy Chok, Azmie Lim, Lawrence Shim and Alen Kee.Posted onNovember 18, 2010, ThursdayTHE move by the Education Ministry to introduce sex education at primary and secondaryschools next year has received mixed reactions from a wide cross section of the respondents inSabah.The majority of parents and teachers were divided on the issue. Some have agreed to the ideaof allowing children as young as six years old to have sex education in primary schools as part of a drive to curb baby-dumping, promiscuity and spread of diseases such as AIDS and HIV, whileproponents were perfectly happy with the proposal.Sabah Chinese Teachers Association chairman Datuk Eng Thiam Leong said school childrenwould benefit from the common knowledge taught in sex education.Although the syllabus of the subject has not been disclosed, Eng said educating students onhealth related issues would be good for them.Eng, who is also the principal of SJK (C) Chung Hwa Kota Kinabalu, pointed out that the subjectwould help prevent children from being a victim of sexual crimes, as well as give them thenecessary knowledge to counter undesirable materials in the online world.Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong announced sex education to be taught in allprimary schools starting Year One in 2011. Called social and reproductive health education, thecomponent will be taught for 30 minutes every week during Physical and Health Educationlessons.Asked if the teachers would be ready to teach the subject, Eng said it would not be a problemfor primary school teachers as it would be taught as common knowledge.“It’s a compulsory subject for secondary schools, and more like a common knowledge forprimary schools.”However, he added that training might be needed for secondary schools teachers as they wouldgo more in-depth on sex education.A secondary school teacher, who wished to be identified only as Chai, is in favour of the move,saying that children should be taught to differentiate sexual harrassment from affectionatehugging.“They should know touching private parts is no-no, and it is wrong to touch them atinappropriate places.
 
“They (children) might thing adults who hug them are being affectionate.”Chai also stressed the importance of the syllabus and suggested the syllabus to be uploaded ona website so that parents know what would be taught.In addition, she pointed out that teachers of the subject must be trained to prevent maleteachers from taking advantage when delivering the lesson.If the subject is taught by a male teacher, she suggested a female teacher to be in the class aswell to eradicate all possibilities of undesirable events from happening.Albert Chia, chairman of SM Michael Parent-teacher Association, Sandakan, expressed supportfor the idea he described as good, but cautioned that teachers must be properly trained so asnot to mislead the young minds.“Sex education is different from sex activities as in websites and blue movies.“Basic information such as the difference between the two sexes, how babies are produced, theresponsibilities of young parents and the prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases,” addedChia.Another parent, identified as Michelle, said that parents themselves can also teach sexeducation to their children at home.“Parents must teach and remind their daughters how to say ‘no’ to premature sex and how tobehave appropriately as an individual to foster family values,” she said.Another parent, who wished anonymity, said sex education must be closely monitored inschools.“There is no such thing as allowing total sex education because too much of it may lead touncontrolled free sex which can also lead young children to the negative side of sex education,”he said.Teachers and parents should always emphasize on the dangers of sex at a young age and beforemarriage so that these young minds could always be warned of “unhealthy sex” that themajority of adults would greet with scorn.In Lahad Datu, a mother of three, Normadiah, 35, said the move was inappropriate for primaryschool students because they were immature.“This sex education should be taught in secondary schools because the students are moremature and able to accept this kind of learning. Besides that, primary school students are stillyoung to accept sex education.“They have a different level of thinking and their curiosities are strong. I think, it is better not toexpose them to sex education at the primary school level,” she said.
 
“In my opinion, the government’s plan to expose primary school students to sex education is awise move to reduce baby-dumping problem,” said Abdullah Bin Abdul Majid, the leader of SMK Agaseh Parent-Teacher Association.He said it was good to introduce and teach sex education to 11 and 12-year-old students so thatthey would be able to understand it more clearly.“The secondary school students are a bit stubborn and have a very deep feeling of trying outsomething new.“We need to teach sex education much earlier to these young children so that they know thenegative effects and feel afraid to try it.“Secondary school students also love to act without thinking about the consequences. Whenstudents are introduced to sex education early, they’ll be more careful and are not easilyinfluenced,” he said.He added that sex education was not merely about sex, but it was also related to family values,and how to protect themselves from high-risk behaviors.In Labuan, civil servant Haji Salamat Daliman said there was a need to select the mostappropriate teachers to teach sex education.“Teachers who are going to teach the pupils about the subject could be from differentbackgrounds and religion where they need to be responsible in teaching the subject at school.“The school administration is supposed to choose the right and qualified teachers to teach thesubject and need not have to be religious teachers only to avoid unnecessary problems in thefuture.“The teachers must have the proper guideline to teach the ‘new’ subject to the young studentsand the teachers must apply the right approach according to the students’ level of understanding,” he said.He said in Islam, the faith teaches its believers to stay away from ‘zina’ (premarital sex) and theelements in the teaching should touch on how to prevent the students from involvingthemselves in ‘zina’.“For example, female Muslim students should cover their ‘aurat’ which could attract theattention of male students.“If the sex techniques are to be taught in primary schools, I fear that they will encourage morestudents to commit immoral activities.“The subject too must put in some moral values such as respecting both genders – male andfemale,” he said.

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