THE EDITOR, Sir:
I have noted with interest the public debate on the health and family life education (HFLE) curriculum. Here's my perspective.
The exposure to sexual activity which satisfies the curiosity, while stimulating new behaviours, is undeniable. The World Wide Web readily provides all our BlackBerry and iPad-bearing children, youth and oldies with images and information beyond our wildest imaginings. Our children are constantly processing in their young, some virgin, minds responses to the internal urges, as well as the external stimuli.
Although I would agree that some questions inserted in the text were unnecessary and inappropriate for the classroom, what is sure is that the guardians and parents of the young should have the answers to some pertinent questions. If not, we will continue to have grade six students being unable to sit GSAT because they are pregnant.
We can choose to debate the issue of orientation or agendas, or create solutions to the real issues confronting us all. We will not conquer what we do not confront.
Who then will teach our young how to refuse the BlackBerry, the outfits, the trips or the university opportunity offered by the wealthy and well-placed men and women in our society, in exchange for their bodies? Who will empower and protect the scared and timid whose parents willingly sell them to the highest bidder? Who will remind our beautiful young that they are valuable and that they can choose to walk with a healthy sense of self-respect, pride, purity and dignity?
Will we continue to turn a blind eye to what is happening in our homes, our families, our gated communities, behind our picket and zinc fences? Is the homosexual challenge bigger than the heterosexual challenge? Is there even a need to compare?
There is work to be done!
The classroom continues to be the only place to transform the mind and stimulate creative thinking. The HFLE subject in schools is but one solution to the realities of dysfunctional family relationships, poor self-image and self-esteem, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, sexual exploitation, childhood illnesses and diseases and more, through the sharing of a range of life skills such as decision making and critical thinking.
I invite all adults to honestly assess our contribution to our crisis and to commit to being a positive contributor to nation building by embodying godly values. Children still live what they learn and learn what they live.