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September 28, 2021, 5:04 pm

School love: teens need sex education

(09:28:29 AM 04/04/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Student psychology is becoming increasingly complex. This fact requires schools to change sex education methods.



 In front of a reproductive health counseling room for adolescents in Hanoi.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, Director of the Center for Reproductive Health and Family Planning of the Central Obstetrics Hospital in Hanoi, says sex education classes at schools are “just for fun” rather than providing meaningful information to students.
Currently, more than 1/3 of youth in Vietnam don’t have access to safe contraception; moreover, they have little understanding of how to deal with unwanted pregnancy.
"It is weird that up to 90 percent of teenagers are well aware of the risk of pregnancy when having sex, but more than 80 percent of them do not use any contraception method. It is dangerous that they just think that if they are pregnant, they can <perform | simply get> an abortion!" she says.
According to experts, teenagers have boyfriends or girlfriends and have sex at a very young age because of the impact of the modern lifestyle. In addition, they are not taught good living skills at school.
“This is the stage of entering puberty when children start to discover themselves and learn about friends of the opposite sex. If they are not guided, they will have deviant behaviors," says Dr. Luong Ngoc Truong, Director of the Center for Reproductive Healthcare of Thanh Hoa Province.
A survey by the Faculty of Psychology at the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities showed that for every nine people doing sex consulting work at high schools, only two are qualified.
Although the Ministry of Education and Training has added reproductive health contents to the curriculum at secondary and high school, sex education is ineffective due to the shyness of both teachers and students. Also, the lack of a specific curriculum creates difficulties for teachers.
Teacher Nguyen Thi Thu Hien from the Nguyen Huu Tho High School in Ho Chi Minh City says: "Some 12th graders still think that they can become pregnant from kissing. This demonstrates that they lack basic knowledge about sex. Yet both families and teachers shun sex education because it is a very sensitive topic."
Teacher Le Thi Muoi Mot from the Tran Quang Khai Secondary School in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province, says that sex education in school is a formalism because of the lack of curricula. Teachers usually integrate sex education content with genetics lessons. "In every lesson, teachers only talk about sex for 5-10 minutes," she says.
Explaining the causes of high rate of abortion among teenagers, Mr. Ngo Minh Uy, a psychology expert in HCM City, says that teens see sexual behavior as a way of expressing love. The problem, he says, is that they lack knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, and hence do not know how to deal with related problems.
Sex education should be taught at all general schools
According to the Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City, the city has more than 5,000 primary and secondary schools, with a total of 51 full-time psychological and gender consulting teachers and 157 part-time teachers in charge of psychological and gender education. The 105 high schools in the city have only 53 full-time and 141 part-time teachers in charge of psychological and gender education.
Dr. Dinh Duy Phuong, Deputy Rector of the HCM City Officer Training School, confirms that students' psychology is increasingly complex and they need help from professional consultants.
Sharing this view, Dr. Nguyen Thi Bich Hong, Head of the Psychology and Applied Education Faculty at the HCM City University of Pedagogy, suggests general schools recruit more consultants or further train their teachers to provide psychological and gender education.
Mr. Cao Huy Thao, Headmaster of the Vietnam – Australia High School in HCM City, says that sex education is offered to kids at a very young age. In some schools, students are even provided with condoms.
In Vietnam, according to an official of the Institute of Sociology, many young people have told him that having sex before marriage is not a big problem, but it is more important to have safe sex.
"The more adults avoid sex issues, the more curious children are. Without guidance from adults, kids are at high risk of having adverse behavior. Therefore, schools should hold talks about sex with parents because the parents often have better rapport with their children than schools do. Many teachers admit that they can teach students about sex, but that it is very difficult to talk to their own children about this topic," Thao acknowledges.
According to Thao, the sooner children are provided with knowledge about sex, the better. However, the material should be appropriate to each age group.
Deputy Minister of Health – Mr. Nguyen Viet Tien admits that contraception education for adolescents and unmarried youths has been overlooked. Recently, the health sector has taken many measures to raise awareness and support for reproductive health care for this demographic.
"We have to accept the fact that a significant proportion of adolescents have sex. Therefore, we need to give directions and teach them contraceptive methods to minimize the risk of early pregnancy, which can affect their health and future," Tien says.
Source: VNN

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