MOE steps in!

Given all the wild accusations Dr Femmentor Thio has been making about AWARE’s school talks, I guess MOE was forced to make an official statement:

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Forum Letter Replies
April 28, 2009
Reply to Recent Comments and Claims About AWARE’s Sexuality Education Programme in Schools

1We refer to recent claims and comments about AWARE’s sexuality education programme in schools.

2Sexuality education conducted in MOE schools is premised on the importance of the family and respect for the values and beliefs of the different ethnic and religious communities on sexuality issues. The aim is to help students make responsible values-based choices on matters involving sexuality.

3Core programmes are delivered by teachers but schools do collaborate with other agencies in delivering additional modules. However, in doing so, schools must ensure that any programmes run by external agencies are secular and sensitive to the multi-religious make-up of our society. Parents can choose to opt their children out of these programmes.

4Last year, 11 secondary schools engaged AWARE to run workshops for their students. The number of students involved in each school ranged from about 20 to 100, and each workshop lasted 3 hours. The objectives of these workshops were to provide students with accurate information on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)/HIV, to help students understand the consequences of premarital sexual activity, and to equip students with skills such as decision-making and resisting negative peer pressure.

5AWARE also conducted assembly talks, typically of 45-minute duration, for students in a few secondary schools. Some of the areas covered in the talks included body image, self-esteem, eating disorders, teenage pregnancies, sexual harassment and the role of women in today’s context.

6The schools that engaged AWARE found that the content and messages of the sessions conducted were appropriate for their students and adhered to guidelines to respect the values of different religious groups. The schools did not receive any negative feedback from students who attended the workshops and talks or their parents.

7In particular, MOE has also not received any complaint from parents or Dr Thio Su Mien, who was reported to have made specific claims about sexuality education in our schools. MOE has contacted Dr Thio Su Mien to seek clarifications and facts to substantiate her claims.

8If parents and members of the public know of specific instances where guidelines have not been adhered to, they should report them directly to MOE to investigate. MOE recognises that sexuality education is sensitive. In conducting these programmes, the views of parents will be respected and values taught should not deviate from the social norms accepted by mainstream society in Singapore.

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7 Responses

  1. I have two young kids and I am very concern.

    If you want a full picture about the content of the sexual program conducted by the previous AWARE group…check out this site:

    http://tampinescourt.blogspot.com/2009/04/has-moe-lost-its-mind.html

    Join the petition for MOE to conduct an investigation.

  2. Now that schools & CSE are mentioned, MOE must respond & typically ‘cover their own rear end’.

    Notice nowhere in their statement do they want to give the CSE a clean bill of health, the closest they come to is saying the schools that are involved have these guidelines & so far no one compained.

    Is that too hard for Dr Thio ? You want complaints before stating your official stad ? No problem, some concerned parent will soon shoot complaint letters to MOE.

    Don’t mention their religious affiliation. It is not relevant. Even if they again, coincidentally, is related in some way or belong to the same church.

    Just like the new AWARE employee Magdelene something happens to belong to COOS church.

    You shall see…

  3. Dear Ovidia,

    As we speak I fear that the search for WML (weapons of mass lesbianisation) is taking place. Worse still, given the position the new leaders of aware have placed themselves in, failure is not an option.

    Can you envision/write a piece on what you think they will come up with?

    • Hi Hooi Yen, WML – that’s a hilarious term ;-). They claimed that there were weapons of mass lesbianisation. Old guards stepped in and now MOE is stepping in to clarify that there aren’t any. The basis of why they came into the Exco (to amend the so-called pro-lesbian stance and direction) is now weakened. However, as you correctly pointed out, they have put themselves into this position and they cannot afford to fail. All they will do now to make sure enough of their supporters vote in favour of them at the EGM. Ego is the only factor here, not truth, not the need for listening, reflection and evaluation of one’s stance. Where else to get support than in COOS where people would be rallied and urged to be ‘agents of the Lord’?

  4. Haha–good one Jolene!

  5. Is a Femmentor like a Dementor? Is the real reason she can’t be on the AWARE Exco because she is busy guarding Azkaban??

    Sorry, cheap shot, but couldn’t resist 🙂

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