[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) says it is deeply concerned over the startling number of school aged students being involved in sexual activities, especially those filmed and uploaded to social media, in school uniforms and on the schools’ premises.
A press statement noted that its Association’s Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM) would like to address these pressing issues facing youth. The GRPA pointed out that over the years, there has been an increasing number of these “incidents” and more recently two tapes were released on social media of students purportedly in 2nd and 4th forms involved in sexual activity at a Georgetown School.
As such, the Association noted that there is the need for a comprehensive sexuality education programme and universal access to sexual and reproductive health for young people, including in-school youths.
“It’s our opinion that due to the lack of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Education in the school system, instances of adolescent students getting involved in risky unplanned and unprotected sexual activities is constantly increasing. This lack of education results in many persons experimenting and doing so in dangerous ways. The GRPA calls for a shift from the abstinence only to a comprehensive approach to sex education taking into the reality that youths are becoming sexually active at a very tender age both forced and voluntarily,” the statement noted.
According to the Association, a comprehensive approach is age appropriate and responds to the sexual diversity and rights of young people and equips them to make informed decisions about sex.
“For far too long the Ministry has been too slow in taking key steps to implement the commitments of the Ministerial Declaration on Comprehensive Sex Education signed by Guyana in Mexico in 2008 and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) signed in 1994 in Egypt. These commitments recognised the need for universal access to information and services. Although a Health and Family Life Education programme is being implemented there is agreement in CARICOM on the need to review and bring this in line with a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Curriculum.”
According to the GRPA, the education system is very lacking in its contribution to young people’s awareness of sexuality, rights and sexual health.
“As a result of not addressing this issue we see that Guyana is second to Jamaica in this part of the world for having the highest rate of teen pregnancies. This clearly indicates that the approach leaves a lot to be desired and that’s the reason why we have so many instances of school aged children having sexual intercourse or performing sexual activities.”