A new focus on sexual abstinence

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has drafted a revised Sexuality Education Programme (SEP) to boost emphasis on abstinence over contraception, reported The New Paper (TNP).

The new programme, Breaking Down Barriers (BDB), will be taught to Secondary 3, first-year junior college and centralised institute students, said the paper.

TNP also reported that the old programme faced some criticism from some Catholics due to the emphasis on using contraception, and the lack of awareness given to abstaining from sex. While it understands from MOE that the new programme will be ready in 2012, no details have yet been confirmed.

An MOE spokesperson told TNP that the revamp is part of its "periodic review" of the SEP curriculum to "ensure that it is updated and relevant" to students.

Parents of students in Catholic schools in Singapore welcomed the change to the programme.

Yahoo! Singapore spoke to Marilyn Koh, 47, a Catholic whose son attends a Catholic school, "I'm really looking forward to MOE changing their focus on the SEP. I was not very comfortable with the previous curriculum as it was not catered to Catholic teachings."

Francis Chan, who also has a son in a Catholic school, agreed with the change, "It's a lot more appropriate for Catholic schools to be teaching the children to abstain from sex, instead of promoting contraception. I'm perfectly fine with the current programme running in a secular school, but Catholic schools should be imparting Catholic values, right?"