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Friday, February 26, 2010

1 Not a Child's Play


THE spotlight concerning issues on the pending Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is focused more on the bill being “a euphemism for abortion” and being “anti-life.” But the dark part, not reached by the beam of the spotlight is wider; and on that part lies one of the disputed coverage of the bill—the RH education for the youth.

According to an RH Bill fact sheet, the provision on the Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education aims to develop the youth into responsible adults. Moreover, RH education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers from Grade 5 to 4th year high school.

The bill proposes core subjects which include responsible parenthood, natural and modern family planning, proscription and hazards of abortion, reproductive health and sexual rights, abstinence before marriage, and responsible sexuality. Also, the bill punishes parents with fine and imprisonment in refusing to expose their children to mandatory reproductive health education outside the loving confines of home and family.

Local bite

Legazpeños have got something to say.

"It is too early for RH education." -Fely Jacob, Education Supervisor I, DepEd Albay Division

"If they (the students) would have knowledge about how contraceptives are used, they would only get confident about engaging in premarital sex." -Jeneath Llamas-Bacason, Legazpi City High School principal

"(RH education) should be taught to college students because they have a better understanding." -Nicolas Revale, Albay Central School principal

"Tutol kaming mga parents sa RH education (to be taught) sa ganyang level (starting Grade 5) kasi baka ma-curious yung bata." -Ariel Arieta, PIO, BUCE-ILS PTA

"Sex education should be taught first at home. 'Wag mong sisipain ang asong natutulog kasi pwede ka n'yan kagatin kapag biglang nagising." -Rev. Fr. Paulo Barandon, Radio Veritas Legazpi station manager

"This well-crafted bill by Congressman Edcel Lagman needs further analysis. 'Wag madaliin; pag-usapan nang mabuti." -Dr. Dolores Laguilles, head of the Sociology Department of Bicol University College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

YOUNG MINDS After meeting up with the principal, I had the chance to take photos of these lovely Grade 2 pupils of Albay Central School. ETV really works this time. Are they aware of RH education? What's waiting for them three years from now?

***

THE contention regarding the provision on Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education has a long way to go. This is a serious matter because the involved persons are the most protected ones in our society.

Four years in college may be enough but studying RH education for six years is ridiculous. This provision incites adolescents to early sexual activity. Based on studies, countries that have much sex education such as UK and USA show that it has only resulted in increased sexual activity among the teenagers that led to increased STDs and unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion.

The provision is definitely not age-appropriate. Just imagine Grade 5 or Grade 6 students talking about how to put on condoms after their classes.

If the authors of the bill did not enjoy their childhood and adolescence, that is not a valid excuse for them not to realize that RH education for the youth is never a child’s play.

1 Feedback:

Jay Edma said...

ang galing! ito ang cause of debate sa facebook notes. hehehe

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