Education is a term that describes the process by which we come to realize our human agency – that is, the ability that enables us to act in a way that appropriately distinguishes us from others. objects or beings.

Education is only one aspect of socialization. It involves acquiring knowledge and learning skills. Whether intentionally or not, education also often helps shape beliefs and moral values. Education is responsible for teaching children the important values ​​of society and what is expected of them in society. The individual is sensitized to his commitment to society and makes people feel that a united whole is more important than the individual. Education provides the link between the individual and society. An educational program helps to instil shared norms and values ​​in a population of diverse backgrounds.

It is in this context that the education of a child from infancy to maturity obviously involves more than the parents. It is neither the school nor the parents, but the school complementing the work of the home rather than replacing it. Often, however, the home does not provide what is needed, resulting in a gap in the education of the growing child. It is a collective responsibility of the three pillars to fill in what is missing and to place a strong emphasis on what is perceived as a threat to a child.

In a broader spectrum, schools rely on promoting awareness of safer sex, leaving the decision to the individual child whether or not to have safer sex, unlike at the church level, where the command remains abstinence until marriage. This phenomenon of the school approach in my personal view has helped a large number of teenage pregnancies. According to the Ministry of Education, our country recorded 3,627 cases in 2020 (Namibian Sun, March 24, 2022), even though there are many options offered in schools like birth control pills, condoms, etc., information provided by their sex education teacher.

There is only one way to avoid getting pregnant and that is abstinence. But this is impractical, since such statements confuse the child because of the two different moral teachings. The five thematic action plans envisaged could be a lasting solution with regard to sexual problems at school.

Parents, on the other hand, do not want to talk openly about sex with their children, and this worsens the child’s sex education. Children then resort to talking to their friends, reading and watching pornographic films, and filling their minds with these things, to the point where their minds are obsessed with them.

It is important that schools be firm in their moral teachings and avoid confusing children. Children should at least be taught in areas such as personality development, emphasizing self-dignity, self-awareness, character formation and the development of virtues. Human development – ​​focused on biological awareness, socialization – encompasses relationships within the family, discipline and religion.

Talking about sex in the church is a very sensitive aspect because church leaders have never done it before, and sometimes they believe that a holy place should not be made ungodly by such discussions. But sex was God’s original idea, and He talks a lot about sex in the Bible! (Prov. 5). If the church becomes more involved in helping people understand their sexuality, there will be fewer problems with intervention. Why don’t we talk about the things God talks about? Here are some of the alleged reasons:

We haven’t thought of acceptable words to use for sexual activity.

We haven’t set aside time to talk about these things.

We do not plan to teach our young people or our parents about good sexual practices.

The church can influence sex education in two ways: indirectly, by encouraging and informing parents about what to teach at home, and directly through sermons, classes, discussion groups and retreats. This teaching must involve giving factual information, but equally important is teaching based on the principles of morality. This teaching must be honest, practical and in good faith.

In conclusion, the involvement of the church, schools and parents in sex education is of the utmost importance, starting first at home and continuing at the church and school level. . As mentioned, it is important that this enables learners to like and respect themselves, and to improve their self-esteem and self-awareness. It is very important that children see sex education as a natural and positive part of their lives. This education must help children to act in accordance with the values ​​of their society. It should also enrich the children by educating them on how to protect themselves from abuse and any other social issues that may affect them in society. Such education should encourage children to talk about their sexuality with their parents. I look forward to seeing and hope that the upcoming Education Transformation Summit scheduled for later this year will bear fruit in the long term by accelerating and totally transforming our education system at all levels.

2022-06-17 Reverend Jan Scholtz

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