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About the Author

Kevin Rennie
Citizen journalist, Teacher (retired),Volunteer (Melbourne, Australia)

I am a retired secondary teacher and unionist. I have been an Australian Labor Party member since 1972. After teaching in Victorian schools from 1975, I spent 8 years teaching in the Northern Territory: 4 in Katherine, followed by 4 in Maningrida, an aboriginal community in Arnhem Land. Returned in June 2008 to Melbourne to live after 15 months in Broome. Now live near Red Bluff which overlooks Half Moon Bay on Port Phillip Bay's eastern side. I am a Global Voices author.

Post

Viral Video Scandal Threatens Indonesian Sex Education

Published 06th July 2010 - 8 comments - 40549 views -

Family Planning: Indonesia #3

Sex education is not a formal part of the national curriculum in Indonesia but apparently it does happen in a haphazard way in many schools. As indicated in an earlier post, it can be highly contentious in this secular nation with its deep religious roots. This is especially true when the universal obsession with celebrity encounters sexual scandal:

A homemade sex video involving two of Indonesia’s biggest celebrities has captivated the country for nearly a month, with millions downloading the offending clips to their mobile phones.

…But at the heart of the issue is how Indonesians talk about sex, or rather, what is not said. Sex education is not part of the national curriculum, and that worries health experts who say Indonesian teenagers put themselves at risk trying to learn about a subject that, in most places, is still too taboo to discuss in public.

…A week after the sex videos first appeared on the internet, Education Minister Muhammad Nuh rejected public proposals to formally teach sex education in the country’s classrooms. He said children would learn about sex “naturally,” and instead asked teachers to regularly search students’ bags and cell phones for pornographic videos.
Sex goes viral in Indonesia

In a subsequent Radio Australia interview, Professor Terence Hull of Australian National University expressed surprise:

I am surprised that someone of that stature and also that responsibility would be speaking out with so little knowledge of the issues.

...we have found elements of sex education in all levels of school text books from first grade through to the end of high school, and it's also spread across a wide variety of different subjects. So bits of it are taught in religion, bits are taught in biology, sports and citizenship classes have issues of sex education.
Questions over teaching sex education in Indonesian schools

It seems he’s correct:

A new video report from CNN’s Arwa Damon shows a pilot project in Jakarta, Indonesia that has kindergartners learning about the birds and the bees in an uncharacteristically liberal way.
Indonesian Sex Education Program Starts in Kindergarten

Meanwhile the AIDS Commission of Indonesia has other ideas:

The National AIDS Commission on Wednesday launched an interactive sex education website, http://www.sexxie.tv, which it says aims to connect teens and young adults with health experts who can provide them with accurate information on sex.
AIDS Commission launches 'sexxie' education site

 

It uses live 'webinar' videos as part of its education program:

It seems that online video has become the medium for the the ongoing controversy over sex education in Indonesia.


Category: Health | Tags:


Comments

  • Ahmed ElAmin on 07th July 2010:

    Incredible video.


  • Luan Galani on 07th July 2010:

    Amazing post…wow…a truly taboo.
    It seems to be pushing them to the limit. Those children are in a so early age. Do you think it is really needed?


  • Iwona Frydryszak on 07th July 2010:

    Honestly, I don’t believe that it could happen in Poland. It would be a national scandal… for sure.


  • Kevin Rennie on 08th July 2010:

    Luan & Iwona

    Interesting that the pilot scheme started 4 years ago. It would be good to read their evaluations of the project so far.

    I used to teach sex education in high schools, with various names like ‘health education’ and ‘human relations’. When parents knew what was in the actual curriculum and why, very few complained. Courses in protective behaviours are common in primary schools in Australia. such courses need to be based in knowledge and understanding not just fear.


  • Iwona Frydryszak on 09th July 2010:

    of course, I think that in Poland kids need it a lot. I needed it while I was in primary school but what I got was how the pads look like. But in Poland sex is a very sensitive issue because of the church influence on the society. So I can imagine the right parties and church to start tell that such an education inspire you for making love before marriage ect. But fortunately it’s possible to do something now in Poland even with their negative voices.


  • Hussam Hussein on 10th July 2010:

    wow… thanks for the video!


  • Luan Galani on 10th July 2010:

    Mind you, Kevin, we have sex education at schools here in Brazil with the very same names you mentioned, but not in a so early age.

    I think young children have to be initiated into this issue, just don’t know how and to what extent.


  • Kevin Rennie on 14th July 2010:

    An excellent post at Global Voices by Filipino Karlo Mikhail Mongaya:
    Philippines: Bloggers’ Views on Sex Education:

    This school year, the Philippine government is implementing a United Nations-backed sex education program in public schools for children and teenagers. The sex education program is being piloted in selected schools around the country and will include topics such as reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and family planning.

    The Catholic Church has expressed strong opposition to the program. Bloggers comment on the issue.

    Also available in 2 versions of Chinese, Malagasy and Macedonian at this stage.


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