Stakeholders advocate early introduction of sex education in schools

Stakeholders advocate early introduction of sex education in schools

Saturday, March 31, 2018 8:41 pm

Stakeholders in the education sector have called for the introduction of sex education for children in the primary and secondary schools.

Mr Adedeji Matthew, Vice Principal Honeyland College, Ipaja Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that sex education should be introduced at the primary school level.

According to him, introducing it at that level will give the children the opportunity to be informed about the subject early and enable them to shun immoral acts.

“In my opinion, sex education should be introduced from primary school but not as a major subject.

“It should be under a subject like civic education or social studies.

“It should be a topic that will be taken from the first term till the second term. It should be categorised and taken step by step.

“The more they grow, the more information you should release to them.

“At the secondary level, sex education should be more comprehensive and must include abstinence, protection and contraceptives.

“You let them know the contraceptives and the adverse effects on the reproduction system. But overall, let abstinence be the main focus,’’ Matthew said.

He decried the situation where many parents do not have time to counsel their children on sex education at an early stage.

Mrs Mary Akinkotun, Proprietress of Liberty Nursery and Primary School, Ayobo, Lagos also said that sex education should be introduced at the primary level.

She stated that the subject should be introduced and properly managed by the school administration.

“Sex education should be introduced at the primary school level but the information must be managed.

“These children have access to phones where they can log on to the internet and get exposed to everything about sex.

“If we deny them the proper information about sex, they won’t be able to manage the information they come across on the internet.

“If it will be introduced in schools, the school administration should be able to manage the information and deliver it in a way that they will understand the subject,’’ Akinkotun said.

Also contributing, a parent, Mrs Bukola Adewol, said pupils from primary three should be introduced to sex education as a topic in sciences or social studies.

She said that children have easy access to the internet as some of them check answers to the assignments given to them online.

“There is nothing wrong in introducing sex education from primary three.

“Some of these children have access to phones and internet where they check answers to their assignment.

“Some of the internet sites have pop-ups from other harmful sites and because children are inquisitive, they click on those sites and they see what they’re not supposed to see.

“But if they’re being taught about sex education, they will be able to discipline themselves when distractions arise,’’ she said.

Adewole said that although parents have roles to play in educating their children about sex, the teachers also have a large role because children tend to believe their teachers more.

“As parents, we also have our role to play in educating our children, but teachers have a large role because these children believe their teachers more.’’

She also said that the information given to the children should take into consideration the age group.

“The curriculum should take into cognisance their age group.

“The more they grow, the more information should be made available to them.

“They should be taught the various parts of the body, sexual organs and the functions and should be called the actual names and not hide under other names,’’ Adewole said.

She noted that some television programmes target young children to educate them on vices such as teenage pregnancy, HIV and safe sex practices.

“Our children, especially those in secondary schools, watch these television channels and are glued to it.

“So, when they watch programmes like this and it is taught again in schools, they will be well educated.’’

A cleric, Pastor Oluwafemi Olayinka, while speaking said: “it is better introduced to them (children) at the early stages of their lives.

“I did something of such to my church children on Sundays, I taught age 3 – 12 sex education after which I prayed for them.

“We think these children don’t know anything, but you’ll be surprised at how much they know.

“It is better we start teaching them these things at a very young age because these children grow faster than we think.’’

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