woensdag, april 30, 2008

Kermesse in Grote Markt - Sexual education in the Dutch school model - HVP 4.8



http://www.openeducation.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/300px-dutch_education_system-ensvg.pngHi passengers!

Haarlem.EN presents tonight this film shoted by HVPSM 2.0 in April 30, 2008 during the Kermesse on the Grote Markt (Centrum-city).
The event happens every year for the Queen's day and is the period where boys and girls in the age of 12-17 years old are allowed to meet each other for their first time without their parents.
Of course, in the Netherlands, they know exactly what sex means and sexual education is early learned in the Dutch schools...
 Sexual education in the Dutch school model
Guus Valk, journalist based in the Netherlands, with additional reporting by the UNESCO Courier. 
With the highest use of contraception among young people worldwide, the Netherlands has attracted international attention How would you react if your boyfriend refused to use a condom? How do your friends feel about condoms? Write down what you think they will answer and ask them if you were right. 
This open talk is how some teachers in the Netherlands approach sexuality with students between 12 and 15 years old. Subsidised by the Dutch government, the “Lang leve de liefde” (“Long Live Love”) package was developed in the late 1980s, when Aids became recognised as a threatening health problem. “Aids was an impetus for sex education in schools,” says Jo Reinders of Soa-bestrijding, the Dutch foundation for STD (sexually transmitted diseases) control, which developed the package in consultation with churches, health officials and family planning organizations. “It forced teachers to become more explicit and to discuss norms and values using a participatory approach.” 
Decision-making skills With the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe (8.4 per 1,000 girls between 15 and 19), any initiative in the Netherlands deserves attention. “There is no country that has invested so much in research into family planning…, media attention and improvement of service delivery than the Netherlands,” wrote experts from the Netherlands Institute of Social and Sexological Research (NISSO) in a specialised journal. 
Although the country has no mandatory national curriculum, nearly all secondary schools provide sex education as part of biology classes and over half the country’s primary schools address sexuality and contraception. According to H. Roling, a professor of education at the University of Amsterdam, “the Dutch government has always accepted the fact that education was better than denial,” and the subject has been tackled in schools since the 1970s. 
Since 1993, the government, without stipulating the contents of classes, has stressed that schools should aim to give students the skills to take their own decisions regarding health, and in particular sexuality. Textbooks were revised and according to Reinders, now take a more “comprehensive approach to sexuality. The curriculum focuses on biological aspects of reproduction as well as on values, attitudes, communication and negotiation skills.” Some schools simply use these textbooks, others complement them with the foundation’s pack, which includes a video, a teacher’s manual and a student magazine. “The education system is very much built not only around transmitting knowledge but giving the skills to apply that knowledge in everyday life,” says Reinders. “Decision-making skills are very important.” But sex education in schools is not enough to explain the Dutch record. 
The Rutgers Foundation, a family planning association that has launched several large-scale public information campaigns in the past decades, sees a constellation of other factors. The media has been at the forefront of an open dialogue: between 1993 and 1997, a prime-time talk show featured a leading Dutch pop star discussing sexuality. Confidentiality, guaranteed anonymity and a non-judgmental approach are hallmarks of the health care system. Last but not least, “parents in the Netherlands take a very pragmatic approach. They know their children are going to have sex, and they are ready to prepare them and to speak with them about their responsibility. This is the key word,” says Mischa Heeger of the Rutgers Foundation. 
Contraceptives are widely used. According to a NISSO study, 85 per cent of sexually active young people use a contraceptive, and the pill is freely available. The average age of a youth’s first sexual intercourse is 17.7 years. Even with this record, the Foundation for STD control recognises that it is still difficult for many teachers to talk with students about sexuality, despite training provided over the years, notably by the Rutgers Foundation. 
Family planning organizations are also concerned about the higher rates of teenage pregnancy among Turkish and Moroccan girls, and are developing programmes specially geared towards them. But the country’s record has attracted attention from abroad. The Rutgers Foundation provides training to doctors and social workers as well as assistance to education ministries in developing curricula, notably in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 
To some critics who argue that “talking about sex gives children the wrong idea,” Jos Poelman of the Foundation for STD control has one answer. “Face the facts. We have the lowest number of teenage mothers [in Europe], and Dutch students do not start having sex at a younger age than their foreign counterparts.”

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