Mrs Deborah Menegbe, an educationist and the Guidance and Counseling Officer at the African Community School, Abuja, has called for the inclusion of reproductive health education in primary schools curriculum in the country.
Menegbe, who made the call in an interview on Sunday, said that the initiative would equip the pupils with the knowledge to make informed decisions on their sexual life.
“It is important for sex education to be integrated into the school curriculum, while the parents have a role to play.
“Sex education means giving enlightenment to a growing child about the dangers involved in an unhealthy relationship with the opposite sex,” she said.
She said there were implications when a child lacked exposure on the knowledge of the different reproductive health organs.
Menegbe said that children had been victims of sexual abuse from uncontrolled behavior due to ignorance.
“There are things parents think they cannot discuss with their children, and such children could get exposed by peer group, internet and the media.
“It is important that from the age of six, parents should educate the child, and by 10 years they are fully educated on reproductive health,” she said.
She noted that all sensitive parts of the body should be pointed out clearly to the child, adding that the child should be taught about the dignity of his or her body.
The counselor encouraged parents to be friends of their wards so that they become their confidants.
“It is important to discuss reproductive organs in their body; they need to protect their private parts and dangers of sex before marriage.
“The home is the agent of change, parents should educate them from the home and the teachers can play their part in school,” she added.
She encouraged parents to have ‘wisdom talks’ with their children, which may not necessarily be from the Holy Qur’an or Holy Bible.
The counselor said that story books and folk tales that teach morals could be used to open up discussions with them.
She said that parents and teachers should also be mindful in their use of language when they were around children.
Menegbe urged parents and guardians to monitor the conversations that their wards were exposed to, while regulating their indulgence in the use of internet. (NAN)