Sunday, August 7, 2022

Stakeholders in Ondo harp on sex education for children

A call has gone to both parents and teachers not to shy away from teaching their children sexual education, particularly the girls as they are the most vulnerable in society.

• August 4, 2022
Primary school students

A call has gone to both parents and teachers not to shy away from teaching their children sexual education, particularly the girls as they are the most vulnerable in society. 

The call was made by stakeholders in the education sector in Ondo state, at the launch of a book, on Thursday in Akure. 

The book titled; Sex Education for Pre-schools & Children was written by a human rights activist and social advocate, Leah Tolulope Akinfiresoye.  

Speaking at the event, Bunmi Osadahun, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social dlDevelopment in Ondo, said that immoralities have eaten deep into society because many parents failed in their responsibility to teach their children. 

Mrs Osadahun noted that there had been an increase in harassment, rape cases, sexual abuse, murder, and domestic violence on little children because they lack the necessary knowledge noting that a lot of counseling on sex education had to be taught starting from homes and down to the schools. 

“Everyone must be involved in the sex education of our children. And that is why when you see something, you must also say something.”

She told parents to start taking cognisance of their girl-child on sexual immorality to avoid being misinformed by outsiders, who might want to take advantage of their innocence. 

“It is no longer a taboo to talk about sex education; it has become imperative to talk to our children about it, Let us name it, and by so doing, they would be able to know on time and also speak up.”

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, explained that parents need to be “sterling examples” to their children. 

Mrs Ademola-Olateju said the need to discuss sex education at different fora was also pertinent in the 21 century, considering that the world is now a “global village” with the advent of digital. 

According to her, the children are growing up to be digital natives adding that “They (children) are used to phones, tablets, and computers in their little age.”.l

The Commissioner observed that children are now exposed to the internet, electronic gadgets, mobile phones, and social media among others which easily breed the moral decadence that society is currently experiencing today. 

She added; “They know more about technology than their parents. So, parents should advise them on the issue of sex and how to treat pornographic online. 

“Here, we are talking about ages 3 to 12, many of them use laptops and tablets. So, we should not pretend about it,” Mrs Ademola Olateju noted. 

Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, a lawmaker in the Ondo Assembly, said the parliamentarians might consider sponsoring bills that would allow sex education a part of the curriculum in schools in the state while advising parents to monitor the movement and behaviour of their children. 

The author of the book, Ms Akinfiresoye said her vision of writing the book was borne out of the increasing cases of abuse on children, particularly the girl child. 

“It was a Tuesday morning (about 2years ago), and the vision came to write a book on Sex Education for toddlers.

“In Nigeria today, moral decadence has eaten deep into our society. There is a vast increase in rape, sexual immoralities, teenage pregnancy, and teenage prostitution among others.

“Many parents find it difficult to talk to their kids about sex because they don’t know what exactly to say or how to start the conversation,” she said.

The United Nations Population Fund, in one of its yearly reports on sex education, said its research showed that the majority of adolescents lack the knowledge required to make decisions responsibly, leaving them vulnerable to coercion, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.

The international organisation, however, added sexuality education enables young people to protect and advocate for their health, well being and divinity by providing them with necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills. 

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