BEIJING, July.19 (Xinhuanet) -- To protect young
people and society at large from HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy, sex education
classes in Guangzhou, a city in south China, will be given to children as early
New courses about sex and health will soon be offered
in all primary and middle schools and also some kindergartens, after Guangzhou
Education Bureau replied to the proposals submitted by some members of the
city's People's Congress.
Early this year, members of the city's People's
Congress called on the local government and educational departments to teach
school students more about sex and health at an earlier age.
"The number of students who have pre-marital sexual
activities and school girls who have induced abortion are increasing now," said
Liao Chan, a deputy of the city's People's Congress.
Liao, who is also a doctor in the city, added that
girls who are under 20 and have induced abortion operation makes up 15 per cent
of the total of women who have abortions.
"Sex and health education in students' early years is
necessary since we even found that a 13-year old girl underwent an abortion in
the past," said Liao.
In addition, a number of schools found it difficult
to arrange classes on sex and health during students study time since they have
more than 10 other courses per semester, according to the survey.
Some students interviewed said they learned about sex
through unhealthy sources, such as pornographic websites, videos and books,
according to the survey.
"Sex knowledge from those sources is not as systemic
and complete as that of textbooks, so correct guidance for people during puberty
is crucial for them to better understand sex and prevent them from getting
abortions or having early sexual activities," said Guo Ningbo, an official from
the local education bureau.
The bureau in early April chose 41 schools, including
15 middle schools, 13 primary schools and 13 kindergartens, as experimental
schools for teaching students about sex and health.
The move is aimed at putting sex education on the
official teaching agenda, in a bid to dampen curiosity and inform young students
in the booming city.
The local education bureau, together with the health
department, has issued a new textbook about sex and health recently.
Different from previous courses, which focused mainly
on human body anatomy, the new edition of the sex and health education textbooks
includes sensitive issues, such as masturbation, giving a more detailed
introduction to sex for teen students in the city.
In addition, the bureau plans to improve teaching
methods regarding sex and health to ensure the quality of education.
In addition to sex education, the bureau plans to
hire special psychological teachers for schools starting this year, in a bid to
help students' psychological development.
The bureau will require teachers to obtain a degree in
medical health and psychology to ensure students are taught correct information.