Bam eyes probe on status of sex education in schools

Amid the alarming rise in number of teen pregnancies in the country, a senator has filed a resolution calling for an inquiry on the status of the implementation of reproductive health education in schools.

In Senate Resolution No. 169, Sen. Bam Aquino said the Department of Education (DepEd) is tasked by Republic Act 10354 or to develop a curriculum for reproductive health education that will be used by public schools and may be adopted by private schools.

In 2013, the DepEd released the K to 12 Curriculum Guide for Health, which incorporates lessons on Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood.

“Ngayong tumataas ang bilang ng mga kabataang nabubuntis, nais nating malaman kung ano nga ba ang estado ng nasabing curriculum at kung paano ito itinuturo sa ating mga paaralan,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education.

Based on 2011 to 2014 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Sen. Bam said teenage pregnancy in the country is on the rise, with one in every ten women of child-bearing age is a teenager and 24 babies are born every hour from teenage mothers.

 “The youth are faced with critical decisions involving sexual and reproductive health that could have a major impact on their lives,” said Sen. Bam.

The senator added that research by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that majority of adolescents still lack the knowledge to make responsible decisions.

 “UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck highlighted the importance of including sexuality education in our Philippine education system to help ensure young girls and boys make responsible choices based on accurate information,” said Sen. Bam. 

Without adequate information, Sen. Bam said teenagers are left vulnerable to coercion, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.

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