KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has proposed that the teaching of sex education be included in the curriculum at Teacher Training Institutes.
Its deputy minister, Senator Datuk Heng Seai Kie, said the ministry was still in its initial stages of discussion with the education ministry on the proposal.
“If this can be implemented, all our teachers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to teach sex education.
“They will know how to handle issues or problems among students related to sex,” she told a press conference after launching the National Women’s Safety Campaign Anti- Crime Against Women workshop on Monday.
She also said the ministry, in collaboration with the education ministry, would continue and expand its pilot projects — “I’m In Control” and “Pekerti Programme” — for Standard Six and Form Three students in the next five years. About 30,00 students will undergo the programmes every year.
“We have chosen to target these two groups of students because usually after their national examinations, they have some free time before the holidays,” she said, adding that this was to ensure that their normal schooling hours were not interrupted by the eight-day programmes. In light of the recent uproar over the cases of two convicted rapists escaping jail terms, the programmes will also include knowledge on Section 376 of the Penal Code which governs the penalty for rape.
Heng said the students would not only be taught about the biological changes of their bodies but also the risks of pre- marital sex and consequences of underage sex. Besides sending the ministry’s officers and non-govern mental organisations to conduct these programmes, she said selected teachers would also be trained over the next five years to conduct the programme in their schools.
Earlier in her speech at the workshop, she said based on police statistics there were 465 sexual harassment cases reported from 2009 to 2011.
There was however a decline in rape cases from 3,626 in 2009 to 3,301 in 2011; molest cases from 96 (2009) to 71 (2011) and in incest cases from 31 (2009) to 17 (2011). The workshop is the ninth of the 20 planned to be held nationwide this month. It aims to educate more than 20,000 females on how to defend and protect themselves in cases of crime or violence against them.
EUNICE AU | firstname.lastname@example.org The New Straits Times Learning Curve 13 November 2012