Jul 12, 2007

When Should Sex Education Commence?

I would have thought - maybe around age 13 or 14. Hence I was somewhat surprised to read this in the regular parents' newsletter from my kids' kindergarten/preschool:

"Birds & Bees - It is natural for K2 and primary school children to start wondering about where they came from and how babies are made. At [name of school deleted], we introduce sex education to our K2 students, explaining the scientifically complex and wondrous processes of human conception and birth in ways that are appropriate for young children's understanding. It is important for us to demystify or clarify any misconceptions that young children may have about these topics."
But I have confidence that this school will do a good job at teaching this topic. I've been very happy with the high quality of education provided by this school so far. They teach at quite an advanced level for all their kids who attend the different classes (three to six years old), but the lessons are always done in a fun, enjoyable way and all the kids generally seem to be very happy. Plenty of games, hands-on projects, field trips, artwork and so on. Some other stuff that the K2 kids are doing this term:
"We will take a closer look at human cells, genes, DNA and chromosomes, and understand what determines a baby's gender. For social studies, children will be inspired by the life stories and incredible achievements of sports personalities like Lance Armstrong (cancer survivor and world cycling hero), Terry Fox (disabled cross-country runner and founder of Marathon for Hope), Nadia Comaneci (world's youngest Olympic gymnastics winner at age 13 and devoted to charity work today) and Tiger Woods (overcame racial discrimination to become a world golfing champion."
I've decided not to mention the name of the school, because I don't want them to get into any trouble with the Ministry of Education for using an "age-inappropriate" syllabus (they may not, but why take the chance). Personally, I don't think I knew what a chromosome was, until I was fifteen years old and had to study that one solitary chapter on genetics, in the Lam Peng Kwan textbook for O-level Biology.

14 comments:

Isabel Tan said...

I'm quite impressed with this school, Mr Wang, can you email me their name? isabelctan@gmail.com Thanks.
Isabel

chlorine said...

It's good to see that these students have a chance to really understand the miracle of life and reproduction than to hear them quoting parents - "I picked you up from the rubbish dump".

Sadly though, coming from the point of a secondary school teacher, MOE is standing firmly by its stand of teaching hormones-raging teenagers abstinence rather than contraception in its Growing Years series a.k.a sex education. This has not changed over decades, despite the fast-paced dynamic world that we are living in now and when students can access all kinds of sex-related materials on the Internet.

Yet everyone remains surprised when they hear about Sec 1 students engaging in pre-marital sex and even getting pregnant at mere age of 13. By not addressing the issue of pre-marital sex and contraception will certainly not make such cases go away.

When will MOE change its syllabus then?

Anonymous said...

out of point and irrelevant to this post but i felt this merits reading for all followers of mr wang's blog.

this topic treads on thin ground. feel free to remove if you're uncomfortable with it, mr wang.


http://e-hung.blogspot.com/2007/07/pms-sons-military-gaffe.html

parent said...

It's never too early to start. If I remember correctly, a counsellor or someone commented recently that sex ed has to begin early (in connection with the case of the 9-year-old who got pregnant). Sex ed is multi-dimensional and the earlier you introduce it, the better chance you have of covering the different dimensions well -- besides the mechanics of it, respect for self and others, sex and the media, values, etc.

Anonymous said...

My kids' kindergarten couldn't get MOE approved status becasue they taught more than required. But they changed it and now they got it approved, and the rest follows, ie. they got sucked into the chain of policies and benefits..
Its all a chain.

btw, i didn't dare to think that if I am away for 11 years of NO PAY LEAVE, I would still be garanteed a job, plus promotion somemore!!

Boss, I want to go on 12 year NO PAY LEAVE now....

What on earth am I here for? said...

I believwe the best age is at 7 to 8 years old. At that age they did not squirm but were very innocent and did not say yuck or such.

But more importantly parents must play their part.

Anonymous said...

haha the PM son saga is all the rage on the blogosphere!

ex-childcare teacher said...

I taught in a childcare centre before. A lot of attitudes that kids have to life and stuff (e.g. race, food, hygiene) are picked up inevertently from their parents or grandparents.

Never underestimate the ability of kids to understand the facts of life. Agree with previous commentor that its better to teach them while they're still young and not fixated.

Anonymous said...

and why would moe be unhappy with your school. too much conspiracy in your mind

Mr Wang Says So said...

Recently I signed up as a volunteer to give talks at secondary schools, JCs, polys etc to raise AIDS awareness. Someone who had already been volunteering related her difficulties with MOE and these principals. It seems that talking about (a) contraception, and (b) homosexuality, is frowned upon. Abstinence is the only sexual thing that the authorities are happy for the volunteers to talk about.

Given that this is the attitude taken for quite-old students, it would not surprise me at all if MOE objects to sex education being taught in any way for kindergarten kids.

Anonymous said...

hahaha... the Lam Peng Kwan text brings back loads of school memories... including Mr Lam himself!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Please email me details of this fantastic school that you mentioned. I am sourcing for a good school/enrichment class to send my son to. My email add: emailmaylim@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

may the wang be with you, always.

Anonymous said...

Way to go, mr wang. We are the supporters of Wang. Make the wang proud. May the Wang be with you!