THE IMPORTANCE OF SEX EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Teaching sex education has been in existence from the creation of man when man continues to expand with children. The whole subject has been distorted by teachers, media, parents, Pastors, Imams and even friends have shirked their resistibility by not presenting the many side of the subject, the good, the lies told to exploit others. Increasing number of people across the ideological spectrum believe that our society is in deep moral trouble. The disheartening signs are everywhere. The breakdown of the family, the deterioration of civility in everyday‟s life, rampant greed, omnipresent sexual activities at very early ages; the enormous betrayal of children through sexual abuse
Sex education is the education that is given to individuals on sexuality behaviour. It is the process of acquiring information, attitude and belief about sex. It is education for awareness especially our adolescents about sex related issues. Sex education does not encourage early initiation of intercourse but instead can delay first intercourse and lead to more consistent and understanding what the concept is all about. It is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sex identity relationship and intimacy. It involves developing young people‟s skills so that they make informed choices about their behaviour. It is widely accepted that young people have right to sex education, partly because it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) and understand their body mechanism in general, (World
Youth, 2000, in Nwahizu, 2006).
Sex and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) education that are based on a written curriculum and that implemented among group of students in schools setting are a promising type of intervention to reduce adolescent sexual risk behaviours, transmission of various diseases among other things that place students at risk of infectious diseases. However, not all youths ever attend school and not all youth remain in school until they initiate sex. Thus, it is also important to reach youth who are out of school. Curriculum and group-based sex and HIV education programs can be introduced to the students to ensure completion and retention in schools. Throughout the world, they have been implemented in youth-serving agencies, housing projects, faith communities, community centers, juvenile detention centers and elsewhere. Notably, some of the sex and HIV education programs that have been found to reduce sexual risk-taking behaviour should be implemented in both school and community settings with only minor modifications of the curricula. (Jemmott, Jemmott and McKaffree, (1994); St. Lawrence, (1998). Sex and HIV education programs can increase knowledge about how to avoid HIV and STD infection and unintended pregnancy.
Integrated teaching is defined as organization of teaching matter to interrelate or unify subjects frequently taught in separate academic courses or departments. Shoemaker (1989) stated that an integrated curriculum is education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association to focus upon broad areas of study. It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive. Shoemaker, (1989) opined that using an integrated curriculum to teach is a strategy based on the premise that learning is a series of connections. The integrated curriculum can be beneficial to teachers and students, using team teaching, projects, and units to cover a variety of material and effectively teach many concepts and skills. This approach allows children to learn in a way that is most natural to them.
Teachers can create a good deal of their curriculum by building webs made up of themes of interest to the children, with benefits for all. These benefits include more adequate coverage of curriculum, use of natural learning, building on children’s interests, teaching skills in meaningful contexts, more flexibility, and an organized planning device (Krogh, 1990).
Integrated teaching units work for children and teachers. Different approaches are being explored to “integrate” new ideas with the already effective teaching units. These integrated units allow the opportunity to make sure children are learning relevant information and applying that knowledge to real life scenarios.
Moral behaviour refers to upright, honest, straightforward, open, virtuous, honorable, integrity, standards, morality. Morals, ethics refer to rules and standards of conduct and practice. Morals refer to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual’s practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization. Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, especially in the professions
Moral behaviour is to know the difference between right and wrong and to choose right. Immoral is to know the difference and choose the wrong behaviour. Amoral people cannot discern any difference and just behave as they wish. If one is discussing a moral play, it probably refers to someone who is faced with the dilemma of choosing and ultimately chooses to behave in a moral (right behaviour) fashion. Morals also, are dictated by the society in which one lives and they can be arbitrary to the times and the culture.
Secondary school students are students of post primary school between the ages of ten to eighteen (10 – 18years). The first three years of education are the junior secondary school, while the last three years are the senior secondary school education. The entire secondary school students are expected to spend six years before graduating to higher institution. Secondary education is the education that is received after primary education before tertiary stage. (National Policy on Education, 2004). Sex and Health Education programs are commonly implemented in schools for a variety of reasons in subjects such as Home Economics, Home Management, Health Science, Biology, Integrated Science. Students who attend school, most do so before they initiate sex and some are enrolled in school when they do initiate sex (St. Lawrence, 1998).
Ongwu (2010) pointed out reason why sexuality education should be taken
seriously. Since our today has become just a global village events occurring in parts of the world that are previously remote are now becoming instant influence on pattern of behaviour in other parts, that every population are well informed and have involved the appropriate behaviour to cope with life. Peer group influence in sex related issues and discussion can affect the students in schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The researcher observed that a lot of youths in Nigeria in most secondary school students especially in North Central zones of the country are victims of sexual molestation and other vices, some have dropped out due to unwanted pregnancies, stigma from Sexually Transmitted Diseases and infections (Kaduna State Ministry of Education Annual Report, 2010). These might be due to little or no awareness of integrated teaching of sex education in secondary schools in Kaduna State. Sex education is however integrated into other subject such as Civic Education, Health Science, Home Economic, Home Management and Biology. These have not adequately prevented students from unwanted pregnancies, dropping out of school and high rates of abortion. Precisely, the National Policy on Education (2004) has no provision for sex education in core, prevocational and non – vocational subjects on the requirements list for junior secondary school syllabus. The introduction of sex education in the schools would prevent social vices such as unwanted pregnancies, spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), students drop out of schools and prevalence of HIV/AIDS being on the increase because of lack of awareness.