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  • Youth Commissioner Suggests Separate Classes for Boys and Girls to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

    Sex education should start at home and taught in school, even in co-ed classes.
    by Rachel Perez .
Youth Commissioner Suggests Separate Classes for Boys and Girls to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
PHOTO BY iStock
  • While teen pregnancy is declining in other countries, the opposite is happening in the Philippines: we are the only country in Asia where teen pregnancy continues to rise. Based on 2017 data from the Commission on Population (POPCOM), an average of 530 Filipino women aged 10 to 19 give birth every day.

    There are many reasons we have more teen moms, but it seems National Youth Commission chairperson Ryan Enriquez, believes he has a good proposal to curb it: have separate class sections for boys and girls in school. (Let us all take a deep breath.) 

    "Maraming mga grade school pa lang, mag-girlfriend at boyfriend sila dahil magkaklase sila," Enriquez told ABS-CBN News. His proposal involved segregating boys and girls in grades 7 to 12.

    According to Enriquez, if boys and girls were in separate class sections, it would stop them from working together or staying overnight under one roof to finish school projects. He explained it will help reduce their exposure to the temptation of having premarital sex. He did acknowledge that his proposal wouldn't deter students who are in a relationship to see each other outside class hours, but he remains convinced his scheme will "at least" help.

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    Well, we disagree, and we are glad to see that many people do not think the chairperson's proposal would be effective as well based on Facebook comments. Many insisted that sex education is the best approach to reduce the cases of teenage pregnancy in the country.

    "Teach these kids about safe sex! Simple solution," one comment read.

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    "Why not reintroduce moral values once again in [the] educational system and teach our young minds with the proper guidance on sex education."

    One person said that even if boys and girls were in separate classrooms, "kung gusto [ng sex], sa labas nila gagawin yan." Another person insisted that parenting is the key to curbing teenage pregnancy and rising HIV cases. What happens outside the school is not the teachers' responsibility.

    "Why not just implement sex education and give out free contraceptives?" another suggested. "It is not enough to just say 'don't have sex.' Kung ayaw na turuan ng parents at ayaw din turuan ng school, paano malalaman ng mga bata yung mga risks ng sex properly?" another person wrote.

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    Enriquez did argue that when boys and girls are in different classes, "mapag-uusapan ang sex education nang maayos. Iyong HIV awareness, mas maituturo nang maayos," Enriquez said.

    Family planning and reproductive health campaigns, including sex education, are topics that are still hotly debated in the country. Many Filipinos support family planning initiatives such as the Reproductive Health law, but many also opposed sex education in schools or giving teens access to free contraceptives, such as condoms.

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    Several studies have shown that sex education for the youth is an effective measure against teenage pregnancy — and can be taught effectively even when boys and girls are in the same class. There is no evidence that sex education makes kids more promiscuous or more curious about sex than they already are. Instead, it gives them the proper information to make the correct choices.

    Ideally, sex education should start at home, with parents talking to their young kids about sex, consent, readiness, safety, and even abuse. It's high time Pinoy parents take these topics out of the taboo list to help empower the youth and protect their future.

    Teenage pregnancy exposes both the young mom and her child to many health risks. Click here to read more.

    Want to discuss sex with kids without being too technical (and squirmish), check out this teacher's sex ed tactic (it involves pizza!).

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