Only Sab accepted reproductive health programme
The reproductive health education programme launched by the Health
Ministry at provincial level to educate schoolchildren has been rejected
by eight provinces. Only the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council had
accepted the programme.
The reason given by Provincial Councils for rejecting the programme
is unsuitability of sex education for schoolchildren, Health Deputy
Minister Lalith Dissanayake said.
According to Minister Dissanayake, all seven Provincial Councils,
except Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council misunderstood the programme as
‘sex education programme for schoolchildren’.
“There is no connection between sex education and reproductive health
education. Reproductive health education is a must for adolescent
schoolchildren to avoid child abuse incidents and to avoid physical
problems that arise during adolescent,” he said.
Deputy Minister Dissanayake said that the government allocated Rs 4
million this year for the programme understanding the importance of the
subject. “Reproductive health education assists schoolchildren to
protect themselves from all forms of child exploitation.
The Health Ministry issued a handbook to support the programme.
Some adolescent children identify natural body changes as diseases
and the programme is aimed at preventing all these problems,” he
said.“Some female schoolteachers avoid reproductive health education
thinking that it is sex education.
They identify sex education as a sin and a taboo. But it has become a
must now where schoolchildren are subjected to various types of
exploitation and because of STDs such as AIDS,” he added.