By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Jan 30: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo called on the relevant government ministries to work together to educate young children about sex education.
Following the announcement by Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah recently that adolescent pregnancies topped 2,099 cases in 2020, Soo was shocked to learn that there was a young girl as young as 10 years old who was pregnant.
Hence, Soo also urges the relevant government ministries in particular Health Ministry, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) and the Education Ministry to review the country’s sexual and reproductive policies following the high number of adolescent pregnancies in Sarawak last year.
“Sarawak’s high statistic of adolescent pregnancies speaks of the failure of our education system to equip our young population with essential knowledge about sexual and reproductive health to protect themselves.
“As girls today enter puberty earlier and earlier, sex education must be given at an early stage.
“It is not the solution to think that sex is not a topic to be discussed by children and to think that we can protect them by not discussing it,” said Soo.
Soo believes the heaviest burden on the lack of knowledge on sex education falls on young girls because they are the ones who get pregnant and were often left alone to deal with the consequences.
She opined that it is also important to educate young men on the importance of sex education in order to prevent unintended pregnancies.
On another note, Soo questioned whether the 96 per cent of adolescent pregnancies were school dropouts as announced by Fatimah.
At the same time, Soo hoped all the government departments concerned will improve their delivery of sexuality and reproductive health education through the country’s education system to protect the young children from unwanted pregnancies. —DayakDaily