PETALING JAYA: Sex education should be interesting, realistic, relevant, and should teach students about the responsibility that comes with having sexual intercourse, says National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan.
He said the programme should expose students to the consequences, such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
“Whatever that is taught in the sex education programme must be relevant. Students need to know that actions bring consequences and responsibilities,” he said, adding NUTP had been an advocate of sex education.
He said teachers and parents should refrain from telling students that sex was a “no-no”, but instead give them the correct and relevant information.
“Students are currently being taught that sex is a wrongdoing and is against religion. But in reality, sex is built into humans and is practised by society.
“Children below 12 years old are already viewing porn now,” he said, pointing out that children would only defy adults when they were forbidden to do something.
Tan was responding to Deputy Women, Family and Community Minister Hannah Yeoh’s proposal on conducting sex education awareness programmes outside schools to combat baby dumping and abortion cases.
He welcomed Yeoh’s proposal as it would be free from the constraints of the school system.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim suggested the sex education programmes be carried out starting in states with the highest statistics on baby dumping and abortion – namely Kelantan.
She said the proposal was a good initiative that would provide proper information about sex, which was still considered a taboo.
“Parents don’t like to discuss this topic with their children, but rely on someone else to teach them about sex,” she said.
Children would then turn to wrong channels for information or be tempted or taken in by experimentation, added Azimah.
SMK Assunta Petaling Jaya Parent-Teacher Association chairman Alan Goh believes that imparting the right knowledge about sex to the young could reduce baby dumping and abortion cases.
Sex education awareness programmes, said Goh, would be a more appropriate platform for young children to learn about the “taboo topic” instead of Google.
In July, The Star reported that the National Registration Department found there were 4,992 illegitimate children born to girls aged 18 and below in 2017.
There were also 120 reported cases of baby dumping the same year.
As of June this year, 1,664 illegitimate children were born to underage mothers.