Sexuality Education (SEd) in schools is about enabling students to understand the physiological, social and emotional changes they experience as they mature, develop healthy and rewarding relationships including those with members of the opposite sex, and make wise, informed and responsible decisions on sexuality matters in their growing up years. It is taught in the context of values which our mainstream society believes in – the importance of the family as the basic unit of society, encouraging healthy, heterosexual marriages, and respect for the values and beliefs of the different ethnic and religious communities on sexuality issues.
Sexuality Education focuses on the development of adolescents’ values, and social and emotional competencies required to make responsible decisions regarding sexual behaviours and to build rewarding relationships based on love and respect which are the foundation for strong families.
It is also named Sexuality Education (rather than Sex Education) to emphasise the holistic approach which includes the emotional, social, intellectual and ethical aspects, in addition to the physical aspect of sex.
Sexuality Education covers the following dimensions of a person’s sexuality:
Physical: Physical sexual maturation and intimacy, the physiology of sex and human reproduction
Emotional: Sexual attitudes and feelings towards self and others;
Social: Sexual norms and behaviour and their legal, cultural and societal implications; and
Ethical: Values and moral systems related to sexuality.
The three goals of Sexuality Education are:
To help students make wise, responsible and informed decisions through the provision of accurate, current and age-appropriate knowledge on human sexuality and the consequences of sexual activity;
To help students know themselves and build healthy and rewarding relationships through the acquisition of social and emotional skills of self-awareness, management of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, development of empathy for others, possession of effective communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills; and
To help students develop a moral compass, respect for themselves and for others as sexual beings, premised on the heterosexual married couple forming a nuclear family as the basic unit of society, through the inculcation of positive mainstream values and attitudes about sexuality.
The four key messages of Sexuality Education are:
- Love and respect yourself as you love and respect others;
- Build positive relationships based on love and respect (which are the foundation for strong families);
- Make responsible decisions for yourself, your family and society, and
- Abstinence before marriage is the best protection against STIs/HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Casual sex can harm and hurt you and your loved ones.
The key guiding principles of Sexuality Education are:
Parents play the primary role in the sexuality education of their children. As such, they are responsible for the teaching and transmission of values on sex and sexuality. Recognising that parents have a key role in the sexuality education of their children, they can exercise their choice to opt their children out of the school’s sexuality education programme;
The teaching of knowledge and skills is integrated with the teaching of values which reflect that of Singapore’s mainstream society, to help students make wise, informed and responsible decisions on sexuality matters.
In accordance with our national values, Sexuality Education is premised on the family as the basic unit of society. This means encouraging healthy, heterosexual marriages and building stable nuclear family units with extended family support.
Only specially-selected teachers are trained to teach Sexuality Education. These teachers are selected because they:
- believe in the importance of sexuality education for students;
- possess values that are aligned with MOE values in Sexuality Education;
- are comfortable discussing sexuality issues; and
- have healthy rapport with students and possess good facilitation skills.
In recognition of our multi-racial and multi-religious society, students and teachers will respect the different attitudes, values and beliefs regarding sexuality that these different communities may have; and
Relevant resources in the community that are in alignment with MOE Sexuality Education Framework and Implementation Guidelines may be brought in to supplement schools’ sexuality education programmes where needed
More information can be accessed through the MOE website here
Overview of Sexuality Education Coverage in CCE Lessons
The MOE Sexuality Education Curriculum adopts a cross curricular approach. It is delivered through the school curriculum viz. Science, CCE Form Teacher Guidance Period (at Primary 1 to 4), and Character and Citizenship Education (at Secondary level). The Sexuality Education (SEd) lessons and the eTeens Programme, which are complementary, are staple Sexuality Education Programmes conducted under the ambit of Character and Citizenship Education (CCE).
Themes in the Sexuality Education Curriculum:
eTeens: Sexuality Education Programme in Schools
Complementing the Sexuality Education CCE lessons is the eTeens programme for Sec 3 students. This programme, jointly developed by the Health Promotion Board, in collaboration with MOE, caters to emerging trends and students’ developmental needs. As “an STIs/HIV” prevention programme, it aims to provide students with accurate knowledge about “STIs/HIV”, teaches protection from a health perspective and equips students with life skills to say “no” to pre-marital sex. The desired outcome of the eTeens programme is that students are empowered to make wise, informed and sensible decisions.
Implementation of Sexuality Education (SEd) Lessons and eTeens Programme
MOE Sexuality Education programmes, which comprise SEd lessons and eTeens are to be implemented as part of the CCE curriculum. SEd lessons are for Year 1-4 students; e-Teens is for Year 3. eTeens is implemented as a Mass Talk segment is to be conducted by approved external providers. Only specially-selected MOE staff and MOE-SEd trained teachers are deployed to teach SEd lessons and the class-based lesson of the eTeens programme (Secondary).
**Click HERE to view the lessons from the Sexuality Education that will be taught in 2023.
Empowered Teens (eTeens) Implementation
eTeens programme is a school-based STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections)/HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) prevention programme developed by Health Promotion Board, in collaboration with MOE for Secondary 3 students. It comprises of a talk and 1 classroom-based lesson.
Students are taught skills such as decision-making, assertiveness and negotiation to say “no” to sex and negative peer pressure. They also learn that the impact of STIs/HIV extends beyond themselves and involves their family. Abstinence and upholding family values are the key messages. The desired outcome of the eTeens programme is that students are empowered to make wise, informed and sensible decisions.
**Click HERE to view the lessons from the eTeens Programme that will be taught in 2023.
Information for Parents
Parents may opt their children out of the Sexuality Education lessons or eTeens programmes by MOE-approved external providers.
Parents who wish to opt their children out of the Sexuality Education lessons need to complete an opt-out form. This form will be sent to parents via the Parents Gateway at the start of the year. The completed form is to be submitted by 31 March 2023 (all levels).
Y3 parents who wish to opt their children out of the eTeens programme need to complete an opt-out form. This form will be sent to parents via the Parents Gateway at the start of the year. Parents are to respond by 31 March 2023 (Year 3).
Parents can contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6737 1845 for discussion or to seek clarification about the school’s sexuality education programme.
Parents who wish to attend the school sexuality education programmes should contact the school to make the necessary arrangements.