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PIA Press Release

Schools in UNFPA pilot towns in Ifugao teaching sex education since 2008

by Vency D. Bulayungan

Lagawe, Ifugao (19 June) -- The Provincial Population Officer here and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) speak up in defense of sex education in school which will be the pilot tested on this year by the Department of Education.

Miriam Baguidudol, Provincial Population Officer IV here said that while the DepEd at the national is on the verge of pilot testing sex education, the province of Ifugao had already included the subject in the school curriculum in UNFPA pilot areas in the province.

"Sex education is taught in grades 5-6 and secondary level in the municipalities of Asipulo, Tinoc and Lagawe which are the pilot areas of the 6th Country Program of the UNFPA here", Baguidodol said. Sex education is taught in Science class, home economics, social studies in the elementary level and Population Education (POPED) in the secondary level. A joint program of the local government units and the UNFPA, an appropriate sex education program will provide the youth the necessary information needed to be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality.

Baguidudol disclosed that sex education teaches the students about life skills like coping abilities of young people on the realities of daily life such as self awareness, empathy, effective communication interpersonal relationship, creative and critical thinking among others.

Baguidudol further explained that with sex education comes the full knowledge of the real dangers of early sexual initiation and induced abortion. The earlier the youth realizes the danger they are in, the better chances for prevention. She added, "sex education will minimize teenage and unplanned pregnancies and at the same time reduce the increasing number of abortion cases."

On the other hand, Hector Follosco, the Provincial Program Officer of the UNFPA here said that with the expansion of the UNFPA program to the other municipalities, he believes that issues concerning the youth will be addressed. Ifugao was a beneficiary of the 4th and 6th country programs of the UNFPA.

According to Follosco, youth are at risk of pregnancy, abortion, sexually-transmitted diseases, and other reproductive health problems every year. "Without intervention, these reproductive health problems as well as other risk behaviors can leave imprints for the rest of the lives of the youth," he stressed.

Follosco and Baguidudol said that teen centers were established in some schools here such as the Ifugao State University (IFSU) as a source of information about reproductive health, where wholesome peer activities can be performed. A professional youth counselor is said centers to guide or supervise the young ones.

Follosco said that the teen centers are able to divert the young from engaging in other activities that result to early marriage, unwanted pregnancies and the possibility of acquiring the dreaded sexually transmitted diseases.

Both called on the public to examine the rationale behind the sex education instead of immediately attacking the said program. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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