Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Experts suggest sex education for primary school children in Vietnam  | Look At Vietnam

Experts suggest sex education for primary school children in Vietnam 

April 8, 2012

With children reaching physical development milestones earlier and having easy access to information on sex on the Internet, experts are advising early sex education in school.
Many parents in Ho Chi Minh City say their daughters had their first period during primary school and they regret not having prepared them for it.
A third-grade teacher in District 1 recalled a day when a girl screamed out suddenly as she bled for the first time.
“I called her mother and she was also surprised as the girl was so little,” the teacher said.
H.L.An, mother of a fifth grader from District 3, said, “My daughter got her first period in fourth grade and I still regret not explaining it to her earlier.
“She was totally scared because she was not prepared.”
An said several days before that first time, her daughter had asked about the use of tampons shown in a TV commercial, but she avoided answering as thinking that it would be a long time until the girl would need one.
Several schools in the city are now introducing gender education at fifth grade, with lessons about human body, eggs, sperm and embryo.
Some parents said fifth grade is too early and the education will only create unnecessary, or harmful, curiosity for the matter, but many said the lessons should come even sooner.
Tran Hoang An, a mother from District 5, said “Children these days develop quite early, so I’m afraid that [gender education] at fifth grade is a bit too late.
“When children develop and do not quite understand gender and reproduction health, they will fail to control their behavior and there will be consequences.”
Teenage pregnancies, abortions and teen boys going to jail for having sex with their underage girlfriends have made frequent headlines in Vietnam these days. In one case in central Vietnam last month, people around a girl only realized she was pregnant when her water broke at school.
Tran Xuan Kien, a primary school teacher in District 1, said children can learn about sex very early in this digital world, so they should be educated to understand it clearly and not try anything related to it in a bad way.
“We should start earlier, at second grade for example, with basic information about human body, gender and body hygiene, before reproductive health,” Kien said.
He said the education will also prepare children to protect themselves from rapists.
His colleague Nguyen Tran Diem Linh also noted that teachers taking gender education classes should appear confident to make the children comfortable.
“Children these days know more than we think. If the teachers are embarrassed, the class will fail,” Linh said.
Psychologist Do Hong Ngoc also encouraged parents to be their children’s first teachers and life-time supervisors in matters of gender and reproductive health.
“TV, books, magazines, movies and online games can be very strong sources of sex education. They can establish a mindset and set the behavior of a whole generation, so we must be responsible [about those sources],” Ngoc said.
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Experts suggest sex education for primary school children in Vietnam  | Look At Vietnam
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