The main problem with sex education in Singapore is not the school’s choice to teach abstinence, but rather, the general lack of parental supervision and guidance at home. Many fathers and mothers have abrogated their responsibility by leaving all aspects of their child’s education to the teachers. This is a cultural practice that must be frowned upon, especially since studies have shown that parents can be extremely effective communicators on topics such as sex and relationships.
It is important, and conducive, for sex education to take place in the home. I am of the view that families should have a greater say in what is being taught about sex, and parents be given the freedom to convey to their son or daughter their own ideas of what sex is and should be about. The government should also seriously consider equipping the parents with educational materials to help them broach the topic at the right time, and teach their children about love, relationships and sexuality.
As the Ministry of Education has recognised, parents are vital stakeholders and should be responsible for the health and moral values of their children. When fathers and mothers are encouraged to play a more active role, greater levels of trust will be built between parent and child. When this valuable trust is gained, children will be more comfortable approaching their parents for advice in the future.
The increasingly casual attitudes towards sex among our youths should not be confronted by a form of sex education that adopts a defeatist mentality. We must have faith that values-education does have a tremendous positive impact on a child’s development as an individual.
I believe that a state-family collaborative approach that places the onus on families to inculcate the virtues of abstinence before marriage will be the solution to many of the ills that our youths currently face, such as the rising rates of teenage pregnancies and increasing number of youths contracting STDs.
- Singapore Health Promotion Board
- Parents … what have you taught your child? (eustacedunn.wordpress.com)
- Value-Based Sex Education (singaporeldw.wordpress.com)
- Sex Education Should Not Promote A Culture of Experimentation (singaporeldw.wordpress.com)