Tutors more reliable than the Net
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE president of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAC) yesterday welcomed government plans to train more secondary school teachers this year to deliver reproductive health education to the youth.
The move is part of a plan to prevent unplanned teen pregnancies and raise awareness on reproductive health. The reproductive health education programme is a collaboration among the Curriculum Development Department (CDD) under the Ministry of Education, Health Promotion Centre (HPC) and BDAC.
BDAC president Iswandy Ahmad said his group believes teachers need to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to guide, advise and assist teenagers on life skills issues. He said it would be preferred if every school could have these trained educators promoting awareness on reproductive health.
As a non-government organisation, Iswandy said he considers BDAC to be the subject matter resource, and that they would assist wherever they could to educate the community on reproductive health matters.
Iswandy added individuals trained in reproductive health education would be a more reliable source of information to the youth than merely gathering and reading information online.
“As information is widely available online, there is also a concern on its reliability and applicability. “With the local community trained in this, youths can cross-check the information with a reliable and trained resource person in their academic settings,’’ he said.
Iswandy added the lead by the Ministry of Education on this programme is definitely worth being emulated by other agencies, as it needs to be taken on in a multi-sectoral approach. The president said he hoped teachers who would be trained would be able to reach out more to their students.
A pilot reproductive health programme was introduced last November at five secondary schools in the Tutong district, where students were briefed about the social issues among teenagers such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancies.
In the past five years, four per cent or 280 out of 7,000 annual births in Brunei is attributed to teenage pregnancies, according to figures from the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
The Brunei Times