CBCP Report on DepEd Sex Ed Curriculum PDF Print E-mail

Report on the Department of Education Sex Ed Curriculum

Episcopal Commission on Family and Life

CBCP Plenary, July 9-10, 2010



In June, 2010 Acting Department of Education Secretary Mona Valisno announced that Sex Ed was now to be given to 10 year olds drew a reaction of concern from many sectors and drew attention to the need to do an oversight on what is being taught to kids in the area of Sexuality Education.

Sexuality education was pioneered in the US by Mary Calderon in SEICUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States of America), an NGO founded in 1964, only four years after arrival of the birth control pill. It drew from the work of Alfred Kinsey, a sexologist whose pseudo scientific work was based on research data gathered using sexually explicit questionnaire answered by incarcerated criminals, prostitutes, streetwalkers and pedophiles.

Implementation of family planning programs during the martial law years came together with sexuality education in the elementary and high school curriculum.  Initially the program was to promote the acceptance of the overpopulation myth and to breakdown social barriers working against the acceptance of modern contraceptive technology.

The 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development’s shift to women’s rights invented a whole slew of invented rights—reproductive rights, sexual rights, right to sexual orientation, etc. inevitably these changes also came to be reflected in Sexuality Education Curriculum.  The 2009 UNESCO International Guidelines on Sexuality Education is by far the most radical: it recommends teaching masturbation to 5 year olds, encouraging teenagers to practice all sorts of physical intimacy (termed as outercourse) short of  intercourse and informing them that all sexual activity is permissible for as long as it is protected (use a condom and take the pill) and it is consensual.

On September 8, 2005 the Department of Education had approved a UNFPA project to institutionalize Adolescent Reproductive Health through Life Skills based curriculum.  After three years of piloting the DepEd finally decided on a nationwide implementation of the program this year.  In the wake of the controversy following Secretary Valisno’s announcement, media coverage reported the revised modules include teaching notes on:

• Pre-marital sex, commercial sex, abortion and homosexuality.

• “Risky sex” involved class discussions on the long-term health and social consequences of sexual risk-taking among adolescents.

• Feelings of admiration for one person of the same or opposite sex. In small group discussions, students will be asked to discuss what they think about dating, boy-girl relationship, how to ask for a date and proper behavior while dating, among others.

• Filipino adolescents’ high awareness but poor knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

• Adolescents’ sexual abstinence: the advantages of delaying sexual activities during adolescence.

Contrary to Valisno’s claim the DepEd modules were never turned over to the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the CBCP.  Nevertheless in the interest of providing accurate information to the Bishops the following materials were obtained:

Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika: Grade 4-6

1.       Edukasyong Pagpakatao: Grade 5-6

2.      Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan: Grade 5-6

3.      Secondary Teacher’s Took Kit: Teen Wellness Program

a.      Edukasyon sa Pagpapahalaga

b.      Pilipino

c.       English

d.      Technology and Livelihood

e.      Science

f.        Mapeh (Health Education

g.      Mathematics

The Dep Ed Sex Ed modules are rooted on a pedagogy that takes a deeply technocratic approach to influencing teenage sexuality, that is, it assumes that once teenagers acquire a formal body of sex knowledge and skills, along with the proper contraceptive technology, they will be able to govern their own sexual behavior responsibly.  Comprehensive sex education envisions a regime of teenage sexual self-rule. Acquired knowledge will influence teenage sexual behavior.

Assessment of Dep Ed Modules

1. The writers of these modules were extremely careful in avoiding any semblance of encouraging sexual activity such that the absence of any mention of teen-age pregnancy is very noticeable.  Nevertheless the repetitive mention of the terms reproductive health, adolescent reproductive rights is the code to encourage discussion of sexual activity.  Hence in reading of these materials one should keep in mind Hencethese definitions as:

“Reproductive Health is the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes.  This implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so, provided that these are not against the law.” (UN Cairo Conference, Program of Action)

‘Sexual rights as defined by International Planned Parenthood implies:

  • The right to exercise and enjoy sexual independence, according to one’s preferences
  • The right to due legal protection.
  • The right to pleasant and recreational sex, independent of reproduction
  • The right to appropriate knowledge and information on sex and reproduction
  • Love, sensuality and eroticism in sexual relations.
  • Freedom from fear, embarrassment, guilt and other imposed beliefs that inhibit sexuality”

2. The Life Skills curriculum is an expanded elaboration of the Values Clarification technique which is intended to help the children determine their options and decide which option they most favor.  This subjective approach tells the children that values are not objective norms of good or evil but expressions of their personal choice.  This approach strongly undermines the authority of the parents.  This is best expressed in the poster labeled Pagpapahiwatig ng Kaisipan at Damdamin:

Malaya akong gawin ang mga bagay na gusto ko.  Malaya rin akong makapupunta saan ko man naisin.  Di na kailangang ipagpaalam ko and mga ito sa aking magulang.”

3. Closely connected to this is the surprising emphasis on the development of the child’s ability to communicate and negotiate. This information is best understood when pieced together with the issues discussed related to protection of children from pedophilia.  Under the post-modernism liberalism all types of deviant sexual behavior is condoned, hence pedophilia is euphemistically called “intergenerational sex.”  The child is assumed to have the ability to evaluate the proposal of an adult for sex and likewise capable of articulating himself to turn down the proposal.  Hence if he voluntarily agrees to the proposal the adult cannot be accused of the crime of pedophilia!

4. Under the Key Concept of Health children in Grade IV and V are exposed to graphic verbal and visual material that is pornographic.  They are also made to engage in group discussions that violates their privacy.  There is no effort to integrate moral norms and guidelines to the biological information.

5. It is surprising that in the discussion of “Risky Behavior” the explicit mention of premarital sex is omitted.   Under this topic the duties and responsibilities that the children learn is articulated as follows:

•          “Malahaga ang pagkakaroon ng tamang palagay o hatol sa gawing sekswal ng nagbibinata at nagdadalaga para sa sarili, kapartner at sa lipunan.

•          Paninindigan ng nagbibinata at nagdadalaga ang naging bunga ng kanilang gawing sekswal.

•          May karapatan ang nagbibinata at nagdadalaga na tumanggap ng wastong impormasyon kaugnay ng kalusugang panreproduktibo.”

Teachers take a nonjudgmental attitude towards teenage sexual activity.  What is important is that the children avoid the risky behavior of having unprotected sex (they have the duty to use a condom and contraception)

6. The module in Mathematics involves using sexual behavior data of teen-agers to teach the concept of percentages, fractions, etc.:

-Overall, risky behavior of the youth increased from 23.5% in 1994 to 27.1% in 2002

-Premarital sex increased from 17.8% in 1992 to 23.4% in 2002

-Sexual debut (first sex) before age 20 increased from 18.7% in 1994 to 22% in 2002

-Of those engaged in premarital sex in 1994, 77.5% did not use contraceptives to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy or from sexually transmitted diseases during at least one sex episode, and this remained at the same level of 76.5% in 2002.

Any impressionable teenager would immediately conclude that since there are an increasing number of young people who are doing it, it must be ok to do it since the modules are completely nonjudgmental regarding these activities.

Conclusion:  It is to be concluded that the Dep Ed modules are indeed compliant with the UNESCO Sexuality Education guidelines.  However, there is an intentional slyness in hiding the real nature of the material to be given by teachers.   Hence to many who are uninitiated in these issues these materials would appear innocuous.  Unless more information is gained from the content that are really given in the classroom by the teachers it would be difficult to make a very strong case against the Department of Education.