Of late, there has been a lot of debate on whether sex education should be "introduced" in schools. I really don't understand what else that is left to be "introduced" when the topic of "human reproduction" has been adequately included in the science syllabus since the day I started my teaching career in the 70's!
"Human Reproduction" is taught as soon as a child enters secondary school, from form 1 right up to form 5. The subject is gradually introduced, reaching its peak as early as form 3 or when a child turns 15. I had many, many years of experience teaching science and I can safely say that the topic that rides high in the students' popularity chart is the human reproduction. Unlike all the other topics, this particular one gets a rapt 100% attention!!! The question of them being ignorant on this topic is absurd. So, what is all this fuss and furore about getting them educated on this particular topic. Why, some of these kids know more than I do!!
May be it would be interesting to note that the topic covers everything from the onset of puberty right through adulthood, not missing out on anything pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth and even methods of family planning plus ways of preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. Now, how's that for starters!! Of course, there are diagrams depicting various views of the human genitals thrown in for a clearer and better understanding of the whole sexy package. In fact, everything that a child needs to know is bluntly and boldly made known to them, nothing is spared. If all these are not sex education, then, what is?
I am terribly confused why the issue on the absence of sex education in schools is being blamed for the frequency in the number of reported cases of unwanted newborn babies, dead or alive, being thrown everywhere, in toilets, rubbish dump, drains, etc.,etc. like thrash. Apparently, some believe that the ignorance of these young, unmarried mothers on matters relating to sex, is the very reason which consequently leads to these babies being treated so inhumanly. I strongly dispute this rash and biased opinion. I think if there is anything that needs to be introduced in schools, it's psychology, certainly not sex education which has been on the scene for almost 40 years and is still running!!!
Students who completed their secondary education are sufficiently equipped with the required knowledge to know the consequences of indulging in illicit sex without precaution. There is no point in trying to camouflage the whole issue by blaming it on their ignorance on sex. I think the issue is more complex than that.
My initial aim was to write about my experiences teaching the 15 year-olds human reproduction but I got sidetracked. Perhaps in my next posting.