Teo: Rape involving children at an all-time high

Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching delivering her speech during the launch of Asia Regional Youth Festival yesterday. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. September 12, 2019.

SUBANG JAYA: The percentage of young children involved in rape cases has increased to an all-time high, says Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching (pic).

“The most recent statistics from Bukit Aman demonstrated that of the 822 rape cases, 35% were under the age of 18.

“What’s more worrying is that this percentage has increased from 25% in 2016 to 34% in 2018, ” she added.

Noting that the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017 conducted by the Health Ministry showed that 7.3% of teenagers were already engaged in sexual activity, Teo said the statistics proved that children were now easily susceptible to elements not appropriate for their age.

To handle this situation, she said, the ministry is committed to upskilling teachers on reproductive and social health education (Peers).

“We should play a role as educators to give children appropriate exposure in understanding and distinguishing between good and bad for them, ” she said at the Pendidikan Kesihatan Reproduktif dan Sosial teachers’ upskilling workshop closing ceremony held at the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia here yesterday.

A total of 75 physical and health education teachers and school counsellors from primary and secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor attended the one-day workshop conducted by the ministry and the federation.

The workshop aimed to reinforce the teachers’ knowledge about Peers so that they are trained to teach students on the matter.

“This is the first time the ministry collaborated with Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia.

“This workshop helped to minimise misconceptions about reproductive and social health education, which should be accessible to children as early as possible, ” said Teo, adding that the ministry will roll out new physical and health education textbooks to Year Four and Form Four students in January.

“We have updated information (about reproductive and social health) in the new textbooks so that they are relevant to social problems such as child grooming, ” she said.

Teo also called on the public to be more open-minded towards the topic of sex, which is still a “big taboo” among Malaysians.

“It is crucial for children to be aware of the topic and for them to gain information (from adults and credible sources) so that they know how to protect themselves, ” she said.

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