| Social Issues |Phileleftheros



In a brief respite from his dispute with the director of the prisons, even the Attorney General got involved in the debate surrounding the introduction of sex education in schools. He says the proposal being debated in parliament is unconstitutional. 

When has the introduction of a school subject been such a struggle? Did the Attorney General at any given time have an opinion when the issue was teaching students computer science, applied math, biology, French, construction in technical schools, waitering in hotel schools? On this particular issue, the Education ministry is looking for legal alibis to hide behind, even anticipating its eventual failure. “It will not produce the desired results,” it says. Forgive me, but many of the subjects taught in schools today do not produce the desired results, but we do not take it to heart and do not make an issue of it.

Despite this, the ministry said in a statement that it will include sex education in one of the modules of the Skills Workshops, noting that this is “yet another innovation currently being considered to be introduced”. One of our problems is that we view or present things that are elsewhere taken for granted as innovations. And another of our problems is that we are afraid of words. That is why sex education is sometimes incorporated into the home economics class and other times in the skills workshops.

The innovation in this case is our hypocritical attitude. While children have access to unrestricted information and can be at the mercy of anyone, we are afraid to talk to them in scientific and pedagogical ways about such an important part of life.

The Timetable will be affected, quite a complex study will have to be carried out and consultations will have to be made, a number of additional teachers will have to be employed and, therefore, there will have to be a corresponding provision in the budget, both the relevant programme and supervisory material will have to be prepared, as well as the relevant training of teachers, for which there will also have to be a corresponding budget provision… And fuel is added to the fire and absolutely nothing is being done.

Everything the ministry is claiming may well be true. However, if there really was willingness to integrate such a course at all levels, a plan could be made, a timetable set and planning could begin. The Education ministry, however, is not committed. It is invoking all the difficulties that exist, or that may arise, simply to prevent such a thing from ever being implemented. And in order to let it continue to be discussed indefinitely.



Daily columnist at Phileleftheros for 20 years and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine Synthesis. Earlier she worked for Alitheia and Politis. She was born in Dikomo and has been living permanently in Nicosia. She is married with one son.

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