News

Seminar on Comprehensive Sexuality Education held at Paro

27 August 2014
The First ever seminar on comprehensive sexuality education was co-hosted by Paro College of Education and UNFPA at Paro College of Education from 8th to 9th August 2014. The seminar was organized to bring together key stakeholders,educationist,NGOs, students/youths, teachers, lecturers, policy makers and local experts in the fields of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, life skills based sexuality education and sexuality education to learn from their experiences and share good practices to identify ways to improve the implementation of sexuality education in both formal and non-formal educational settings. Also, this seminar was expected to create awareness and sensitize the key stakeholders about Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights of young people and to establish linkages for cooperation among key stakeholders at national level.

 

The seminar brought together more than 320 representatives from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Schools, Institute of language and culture, Vocational training institutes, National Commission from Women and Children, RENEW and teacher students and UN. Chief guest Honorable Lyonpo Jimi Zangpo, Speaker, National Assembly, called for united thought and action to maximize the power of connections to find solutions to the emerging challenges that confront young people and to influencing the policy decisions for the country to deal with the challenges.

Ms. Christina Carlson, UN Resident Coordinator, also called to take this opportunity to discuss on issues related to comprehensive sexuality education and to create deeper shared understanding of this process and pave realistic way forward for implementation of effective interventions to address adolescent sexual and reproductive health and other emerging youth issues in the country.

Status reports from various agencies working for youths including the services and legal provision to protecting the young people in the country was presented. The forum was dominated by research paper presentation and most of the researches were conducted in the schools and training institutes which provided local evidences for local initiatives.

These school and institute based research findings despite their limitations were useful in identifying context specific gaps and local evidences for identify relevant interventions. . The research finding help school to identify problems and gaps to encouraging better behavior and find alternative to improve their behavior and life skills based sexuality education was found to contribute to improving the attitude of young people towards improving their sexual health as well as to decreasing the disciplinary issues. School based findings were useful to guide and adapt approaches specific to deal with localized issues like focused intervention to prevent STI, HIV especially boys, and Parent teacher meeting to include challenges related to sexual and psychological issues.

Major challenges and gaps identified from the research were the capacity of teachers and faculty especially in contents aspect of comprehensive sexuality education module delivery, willingness to undertake additional responsibilities to teach CSE since its non-credited and extra curricula activity, cultural sensitivity, need to standardize the delivery of CSE both in schools and institutes and collaboration among the agencies working for youth especially between Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Royal University of Bhutan and CSOs working for youth. Global level research findings on the impact of sexuality education on sexual health outcome in young people, its cost and cost effectiveness are that it has led to:

• delay in sexual intercourse
• reduced number of sexual partners
• increased condom and contraceptive use
• reduced unprotected sex

Comprehensive Sexuality Education is effective and cost effective if introduced in the curriculum instead of extracurricular, wider coverage instead of focused and linked to youth friendly health services.

 

Secretary of Ministry of Education in her closing remark acknowledged the positive feedback from schools on the life skills based sexuality  education and prospective of country to be an exemplary as Thailand in the region. She called upon the entire stakeholder to consolidate the act and start networking henceforth to learn from each other experiences and share expertise to maximize efforts in empowering young people. She recommended to integrate CSE into other subject towards making it ingrained value and attitude instead of making it stand alone subject, to build the competency of teachers to deliver CSE effectively and to support the local research.