Bishops Call for Revising Teaching Modules on Sex Education

Article excerpt

Critics of the government plan to integrate sex education into the basic education curriculum called on the Department of Education to revise its teaching modules for "Adult Reproductive Health" program even while others continued to call for its cancellation.

The critics, including the Catholic Church, other religious leaders and parents, were presented with the teaching modules during a consultation meeting called by the DepEd.

During the consultation between the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), other religious leaders, and parents with DepEd officials led by Education Secretary Mona Valisno, DepEd presented the modules to be used for the sex education program.

After seeing the contents of the prepared modules, the bishops said that the modules should focus more on hygiene and wellness rather than on the science of reproduction, correct values and the norms of interpersonal relations to avoid pre-marital sex and teen-age pregnancy since these are tackled in other existing subjects.

The Bishops also opposed the DepEd's definition of sex education: "A course of study covering broad range of information covering the physical, psychological, social, and sexual development of individuals."

Reuben Abante, senior pastor bishop of the Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church Missions and Ministries, said that sex education is not only about physical and psychological aspects "but should also focus on spirituality."

During the dialogue, bishops also opposed the context of numbers presented by DepEd.

According to Valisno, the Department is pushing for sex education based on the facts on teenage pregnancy in the Philippines which revealed that 3.6 million of teenagers or 5.2 percent of the population got pregnant. "Of these pregnancies, 92 percent was unplanned," she said.

The DepEd also said that the aim of sex education is to lessen the risks of teenage pregnancy including the risk for malnutrition, inadequate prenatal care, fetal deaths, abortion and acquiring cervical cancer and other sex related diseases. …