DepEd Secretary Mona Valisno wants age-appropriate sex ed taught in schools

On the heels of the gutsy Department of Health Sec. Esperanza Icasas-Cabral, who is at the forefront of condom distribution in a predominantly Catholic country, comes new Department of Education (DepEd) Sec. Mona Valisno.

Supporting Cabral's efforts to include sex education in the basic curriculum, Valisno said sex education should be taught in schools to address the country's "population explosion" and the problem of unprotected sex among students, reports Inquirer.net. "When you have sex education, you are opening [students'] minds on how to do it the proper way," Valisno, who is also Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's adviser on education, said. "We have so many babies born every minute."

Valisno wants students to learn how to use condoms but said distributing condoms in public schools is "another thing." "Whether it is in elementary [or high school, the] level of sex education [that would be taught] must be determined by experts. It should be at the level of the child's understanding," she said, according to Manila Times. "We will consult all education stakeholders before we make the final decision on the issue."

Inquirer.net wrote, "Valisno's candidness is in sharp contrast to her predecessor, Jesli Lapus, the new trade secretary, who had repeatedly denied the Department of Education (DepEd) was teaching [kids] about sex." In light of her fearless stand, Valisno should brace herself for the reaction of the Church and other organizations opposed to sex education. Perhaps, she can ask Cabral how she stays so calm despite being slammed by bishops and morality advocates.

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