Friday, August 6, 2010
Proposal to include Reproductive Health and Social Education Programme in curriculum
PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry is willing to study the proposal to include the Reproductive Health and Social Education Programme (PKRS) in the school curriculum or even as a core learning subject, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said a technical committee comprising officers from the Education Ministry, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry as well as experts on social problems would study the proposal in detail before a decision was reached.
He said a pioneer PKRS programme was already being implemented in five secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Pahang whereby it was part of the schools’ co-curriculum.
“Whether this status (co-curriculum) will be maintained or it (PKRS) will be absorbed into the existing academic curriculum, for example in biology or science subjects, we have to make an evaluation.
“At this early stage, we are as yet unable to arrive at the best decision,” he told reporters after receiving a RM50 million allocation on behalf of the Education Ministry from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday.
Also present was Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Muhyiddin said various factors had to be considered before making a decision on including PKRS in the school edcuation system, including the background of the students themselves who consisted of various races and religions and a lack of textbooks on the subject.
Besides this, he said teachers responsible for the programme would also have to be trained first in order to teach it effectively.
Meanwhile, Shahrizat said her ministry made the proposal to have PKRS included in the education system after taking into consideration social issues related to sexual behaviour of teens which was becoming increasingly worrying.
She said PKRS was aimed at increasing students’ knowledge on reproductive health and imbuing a positive attitude towards the matter.
“What is happening, there has been an increase in cases of sexual violence and as a result, girls getting pregnant out of wedlock, baby dumping and other social problems.
“Based on the research reports we have received, one of the reasons is that our teenagers lack indepth knowledge on reproductive health issues,” she said, adding that her ministry wanted each and every teenager to be taught the subject rather than they learn about it from unsavoury websites.
On the allocation, Shahrizat it was for the upgrading of 610 residential schools in the country which were badly in need of an upgrade.
Out of the number, 119 were in the Peninsular of which 50 were primary schools while in Sarawak it involved 187 primary and 74 secondary schools.
The numbers for Sabah were 100 secondary and 50 primary schools respectively. — Bernama