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Sex education 'uncomfortable'

Kajal Grant-Hindocha
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WITH Fiji being a predominately Christian country, teaching focused on sex education and drug prevention is not done thoroughly.

These topics tend to make teachers uncomfortable and can be difficult to teach, according to some teaching volunteers.

"On my first day teaching at a school in Suva, I was made to teach the kids about menstrual cycles and abstinence because the teacher was too uncomfortable," Abbi Raj, a teaching volunteer said.

Ministry of Education acting permanent secretary Basundra Kumar, however, assures that something is being done about the issue.

"What was once called sexuality education is rebranded now as family health. Things like body and hormonal changes, teenage pregnancies, STIs, HIV, and AIDS are among the many topics covered," Ms Kumar said.

"Team teaching is carried out to cover topics some teachers are not comfortable with, and the use of guest speakers and facilitators are also used to deal with sensitive or technical matters."

Classes are also being monitored to make sure they are being taught right.

"Monitoring is done by the HODs through lesson plans, workbooks, class base activities, and book check."

The Family Life Education has also introduced a student-based syllabi which is complimented by their new textbook called HOPE.

"All the materials are level appropriate and user friendly, all the topics in the syllabi must be taught but with sensitivity to the students, school culture and norms."

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