Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Twenty school counsellors from 20 priority schools received comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) training for schools in Bumthang.

CSE will be a part of the new normal curriculum starting next year. It will be taught in schools and students will be assessed.

According to a press release from RENEW, who organized the three-day training in collaboration with the Ministry of Education’s School Health and Education Department, IPPF SARO, Australian Aid, and UNFPA, school counsellors are oriented on CSE national strategic framework and the nine concepts of CSE and how these could be best taught in schools through appropriate teaching methods to deliver sex education.

It stated that the key focus of the training is to help teacher counsellors on how best to impart sex education using the nine concepts of CSE.

The first batch of teachers, principals and dzongkhag education officers from the three pilot schools of Tang Central School in Bumthang, Samcholing Higher Secondary School in Trongsa, and Khomshar PS in Zhemgang were oriented on the framework and its implementation.

The Minister of Education and UNFPA’s head of organization launched the national strategic framework on CSE on December 20.

The press release stated that sex education has been a part of the school education system with comprehensive school health programmes since 1999. “Over the years, the method of its implementation has been further institutionalised, given the critical nature of CSE in promoting the health and well-being of children and adolescents in the current era.”

“Comprehensive sex education is expected to equip young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will empower them to realise their health, well-being, and dignity,” it stated. “It will also help them develop respectful social and sexual relationships and achieve long-term goals such as reduced rates of teenage pregnancy, early marriage, gender-based violence, and other social issues.”

As per the thematic report on youth dynamics in Bhutan 2020, 15 percent of adolescents are sexually active but only a quarter of them have some knowledge about comprehensive sex education.

The press release stated CSE is a milestone achieved for the nation and especially the youth in securing their health, well-being, and dignity but most importantly, a future with the ability to make an informed decision on the choices they make every step of their way.