In a third-world country where people breed like rabbits causing the population to grow to tens of thousands each year, anyone who knows the facts and figures must worry about the future state of the Philippines.
The Department of Education attempted, at the start of classes last year, to bring forward to the whole country the program on “sex education”. Such program was seen as a positive step by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. It was supposedly be integrated to the general curriculum, beginning in the 5th grade, via subjects like Health, Filipino, Science, and Livelihood education. This way, schools could help bottle up the issue of overpopulation and educate students on the dangers of pre-marital sex, including “unwanted pregnancies”. However, everything went down the drain.
Early on the program’s trial run, the Philippine government scrapped sex education off due to the strong defiance by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The CBCP believes that such program when incorporated into the public schools would persuade teenagers to undertake premarital sex rather than remain abstinent, and emphasizes that sex education is the parents’ responsibility and not the government’s.
The problem is that, the government cannot go against the church. In the Philippines, whatever the church says, the clergy who look up to it will follow. It happened during the great revolution in 1986 when the late dictator President Marcos’ regime was overthrown by people power revolt, after an all-out support from the church. With about 85% percent Catholics, the setting would look like this: If you plan to be re-elected in the office, never go against what the church considers right, otherwise you would lose majority of the masses’ votes.
While others quote article 2 section 6 of the Philippine Constitution regarding the provision of the separation of powers between the church and the state, many others proclaim that the church must play a role, being the advocate of morality. It is indeed a very complicated situation with all the clashing ideas from two big social entities.
I am a devout Christian myself but I am for sex education. Sex education in itself is not evil nor is it the enemy here. I am for it for as long as it is properly taught in schools and not “sugar-coated”. The Department of Education must come up with the right curriculum or an educational program with the right amount of sensitivity that will really hit the issue bulls-eye! Most importantly, teachers must also be capable to impart it to the young minds. Isn’t it high time to make everyone face the facts about sex and sexuality?
Sex education is not only about controlling population. It also educates the people on the consequences of pre-marital sex. I agree to what one of my friends’ comment, “What will a conservative country do when it’s in the brink of economic disaster due to overpopulation and other things that go with it?” Sex education must not be equated to a “Kama Sutra” because it isn’t about learning the techniques of making love. Nor it is about reaching the perfect orgasm. Not at all.
If only the government and the church could join hands for once – the former through implementing the social welfare policies and the latter by continuing its feeding and housing programs for the poor – then, hopefully in the end, a better solution could be reached that would be fair for both sides. It must be a solution that’s beneficial for all.
So, is the government right in scrapping sex education off the education system? The answer could be felt when there would be no enough resources for every Filipino anywhere in the country anymore.