Review of Sexual Education with Greater Emphasis on Gender Equality
Parliamentary Question, 18 Feb 2020
Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Education (a) whether there are any plans to review sexual education in schools beyond sexual protection and abuse towards building sensitivities and consciousness by focusing on gender equality; and (b) how often are sexual education programmes reviewed and what is the process of doing so.
Mr Ong Ye Kung: Sexuality Education in our schools focuses on imparting knowledge and social and emotional skills for positive self-development and self-identity, and developing healthy and rewarding relationships.
Besides important topics on safety and protection from abuse and sexual health, students also learn how to deal with physical, social and emotional changes that they are going through. They will also learn about gender roles and stereotypes, and that one’s roles, interests and career pursuits are not defined by gender stereotypes. They learn the value of appreciating one’s unique qualities and to respect and show empathy and care for one another.
MOE reviews sexuality education regularly. We take into consideration local and international research, inputs from stakeholders including specialists in their field, parents and students and our local context. For example, new scenarios and discussions had recently been included, covering areas like pornography and the influence of social media on self-perception and esteem, and relationships.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)
The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and climate change in Parliament.
She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).
Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng