It’s time for ‘The Talk’

The participants posing for a photo with the speakers after the two-day seminar on sexual education. — Photos by RONNIE CHIN

A GROUP of 30 teenagers were given educational lessons about the “birds and the bees”.

Listening tentatively to the talks by the motivational speakers, the secondary and college students were enlightened about gender and sexuality issues.

The two-day event was jointly organised by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) and Family Wellness Club at the Banyan Spa in Ipoh on .

Family Wellness Club President P. Mangaleswary said the students were from various schools in Tanjung Rambutan, Simpang Pulai and Manjoi.

She said several orang asli students also attended the seminar. She hoped participants who attended the event will share the knowledge gained with their peers.

Mangaleswary said several topics were raised during the event including the consequences of teen pregnancies, the impact on their future, career, and the emotions young mothers have to go through if they have to give up their child.

“We also talked about baby dumping, the importance to respect girls, and diseases that could be contracted through sexual intercourse,” she added.

Perak LPPKN Director Suraya Ghazali closed the event.

Suraya said the main objective of the the event is to provide knowledge to the participants about reproductive health, and teenage social issues.

She said the government is aware of issues concerning teenagers who become pregnant out of wedlock, baby dumping and abortions, and has approved a social and reproductive health education action plan and policy to tackle the issue.

The action plan she said will help guide teenagers to ensure that they don’t get involved in unhealthy activities.

“The move is to bring down the statistics for social problems.

“To improve the effectiveness of these efforts, the state LPPKN has taken the initiative to work with the Family Wellness Club, a non-governmental organisation,” she said, adding that peer pressure, media and Internet influences, among others, played an important part in why some teenagers are unable to make the right decisions.

“Several studies show that a comprehensive reproductive health education plan is able to reduce the number of teenagers falling victim to uplanned pregnancies and other problems,” she added.

She said, overall there were 5,982 babies born out of wedlock nationwide in the first quarter of 2014.

Suraya added that statistics from the Health Ministry show that pregnancies among those aged between 10 and 19 are a worrying issue.

She said police statistics showed a total of 801 cases of baby dumping from 2005 to April 2014.

“A study by the LPPKN done in 2014, shows that teenagers in Malaysia are no longer naïve when it comes to relationships.

“From the survey, a total of 21.3% had kissed before, 12.7% had engaged in fondling, 2.9% had engaged in phone sex, and 1.7% have engaged in cyber sex.

“Therefore, it is not surprising that 4.8% of teenagers in the survey had engaged in sex,” she added.

Suraya said educational talks about reproduction will equip youngsters with the knowledge to make better choices.

One of the participant M. Navines Rao, 18 said his sister was a volunteer at the event, so his parents requested he attend the event as well.

Navines who is waiting to enrol into a university said the talk was very enlightening and informativ.

“It taught us how to handle sexual related problems which many teenagers face today.

“A few moments of pleasure can bring about huge consequences if we are not careful,” he added.

Muhammad Faiz Mohd Hanipah, 16, said the event was good exposure for teenagers, especially school students.

“We were taught not to engage in any form of sexual activities because, as students our responsibility, is to ensure we complete our education first,” he added.

Yau Kar Mun, 16 said one of the interesting points delivered was not to go to dark places with the opposite sex.

She said because one thing would lead to another, and sexual activities would probably take place.

“As students it is important to study, and not jeapordise our future, nor do we want to see cases of baby dumping rising,” she added.

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