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Who Should Sex-educate the Child: The School or the Parents?

Whether or not to sex-educate a child, is no longer a matter for debate but who is best fit to do so?
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We need to address this question once of for all without reservations, since it has become a common debate in the education community. Whether or not to sex-educate a child, is no longer a matter for debate. The world is fast changing at a blink-of-an-eye pace.

Parents and schools must keep abreast of happenings and keep strategizing to be on top of the game. A lot of people, parents and educators alike, are living in denial of matters that pertain to sex education. For obvious reasons, we (especially the African community) tend to shy away from topics like, due to culture and upbringing.

Should we keep burying our heads in the sand and let things slip off our hands? Your ‘NO’ is resounding!

There is a constant debate on whose responsibility it is to provide sex education to the children. Some people believe it is the responsibility of parents, while others believe it is the responsibility of the school that must incorporate into their curriculum, and considering the fact that the children spend most of their active time in school. Believe me, when you listen to this debate, you’d find it quite interesting and being tossed between two fascinating opinions. I, for one, have the strong opinion that every form of education should take root from the home, including sex education.

Amidst these opinions and debate, one reality that has befallen us is that children MUST be sex-educated and be conscious of a society with an increasing number of perverts and sex offenders. The innocence of many children has been stolen right under the nose of those who should have protected them. We need now to wake up to fight against this evil agenda.

I figured that a critical look at certain factors will enable us answer this question more objective, and awaken the sleeping giant in us:

      • Talking about sex is a taboo in some families.
      • Most parents are not equipped with the right knowledge and tools to sex-educate their children.
      • Looking at the school calendar, the children spend most of their time in school.
      • Many schools are yet to incorporate sex education into their curriculum.
      • Some schools think the parents should do the job of sex-educating their children, while they focus on academic development.
      • Many parents and schools think sex education should start when the children are grown.

Did you notice the swinging pendulum? Meanwhile, look at the stats in the graphics below to catch a glimpse of reality.

sex education

With all we have laid bare so far, do we continue to debate whose responsibility it is to sex-educate the child?

Dear parents, wake up! Do not tarry any longer in your slumber. Your adversary is not napping. The onus is on you to initiate sex talks with your kids. Charity, they say, begins at home. Ideally, the schools should be a place to reinforce matters like this. Get equipped with the necessary information, tools and strategies to do the needful. Look here again at another stat!

effection sex education
Source: RAINN

55% of sexual abuse occurs at or near the victim’s home and 12% at or near a relative’s home. Only 8% occur on school property. Facts speak volume; needless to explain further.

One thing is sure, the stats are spelling “danger.” Duty calls on all parents – they must not be found wanting. A child who will be able and confident enough to open up when danger looms, is a child whose parents have opened up a discussion about sex on time. Establish a child protection policy for your home now. Update your knowledge and teach your child accordingly, as the time keep changing. For instance, a stranger is no longer just someone who is not known to your child, but also, someone who is known by your child, but acts in STRANGE ways. It may interest you to know that victims are sexually abused mostly by people close to them. IT IS YOUR PRIMARY RESONSIBILITY!

Dear School, the child spends most of his/her time in your custody. This implies that you have a huge responsibility to play in their sex education. You must have a comprehensive child protection policy that is adequately enforced. Bear in mind that you are a citadel of knowledge. You must therefore COLLABORATE with parents, to provide the most appropriate se education to the child.

As important as it is to incorporate sex education into your curriculum, or modify the one you have, it is equally important to partner with parents, orient them on the content of the curriculum, the tools and approaches and other important details. I find it inappropriate and awkward that schools are administering sex education to children and their parents are not aware of the content. Poth parties must be in tandem with each other. I want schools to note that when a child misses an opportunity at home, the school becomes the next hope of the child. DON’T FAIL THEM!

Finally, in all we do, sex education must be age-appropriate, else, we will be solving one to create nine.


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