Call to promote sexuality education among adolescents

Kathmandu, June 22

Participants at a programme organised here today said adolescent boys and girls across the country should be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education.

CSE must be taught in schools and also at home to ensure that adolescents fully understand the issues around their sexuality, said speakers at an advocacy workshop for journalists.

Addressing the workshop organised in coordination with the Ministry of Education by United Nations Population Fund with support from the Government of Australia, Yam Narayan Ghimire, Deputy Director at National Centre for Education and Development under the ministry, said students need comprehensive information about gender roles, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, adolescent pregnancy and gender equality. “Because there is a gap of information, we are working to provide information to students about how they could manage their sexuality and their sexual lives with the help of teachers.”

Ashesh Regmi, public health officer at Family Health Division under the Ministry of Health, said teachers should not shy away from providing sexuality education in schools. It requires them to teach more than basic facts of anatomy and physiology of sex in classes, he said.

UNFPA Country Representative to Nepal Giulia Vallese said many media practitioners in Nepal were constrained by a lack of orientation and preparation with regards to dealing with issues, including CSE.

“This workshop was organised to build understanding on these issues for quality media reporting so that any wrong perceptions policy-makers, young people and the common people might have can be changed,” she said, adding that CSE was more than the word ‘sexuality’ as it encompasses relationships, values, attitudes, skills, among others.

Director of Skill Information Society Nepal Khumananda Subedi, one of the facilitators of the workshop, said it was the responsibility of all, including media, to speak for adolescents and provide them with the skills they need to navigate their sexuality and sexual lives.

Various global researches have shown that comprehensive sexuality education is the best way to prepare adolescents for adulthood and a good sexuality education can lead to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.