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- Sex educaton next year in schools
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has announced it will introduce sex education classes next year in secondary schools, after initially scrapping the idea due to objections from conservative religious groups and overworked teachers, a news report said Thursday.
The 40-minute classes, which would be branded as "social and reproductive health education," would be carried out once a week for students ages 13-17, said deputy education minister Wee Ka Siong.
Wee said the syllabus would include health, psychology, sexual relationships and family, as well as social values.
"It would not simply focus on sexual relationships but also the need to equip the younger generation with important elements about adulthood," Wee was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times daily.
The idea of introducing sex education was first proposed by the government last year following police records showing that at least 100 babies are abandoned each year in Malaysia. Other statistics show that every 10 days, an abandoned baby is found in the capital Kuala Lumpur alone.
The sex education proposal won praise from some parents, but most teachers were reportedly uncomfortable with the idea, saying they were already overworked and not qualified to teach the subject.
Earlier this year, the government announced that the plan had been scrapped, but that sex education would instead be included in existing subjects like language classes, biology, science and religious education. - dpa/Bernama