GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 March) — The Department of Education (DepEd) here has expressed alarm over the rising cases of pregnancy among students in the last three years.
Mario Bermudez, assistant superintendent of the DepEd city division, said Thursday they already recorded a total of 83 cases of teenage pregnancies in local schools as of yearend 2018.
He said the number increased by 17 from 66 in 2016 and with a Grade 6 learner as the youngest documented case.
“This is alarming since the cases have been really on the rise,” he said in an interview over Brigada News FM here.
To help address the problem, Bermudez said they have intensified their sexuality education campaigns in all public and private schools, from elementary to senior high school levels.
The move is based on DepEd Order No. 31 issued in 2018 which provides for “Policy Guidelines on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”
He said the order integrates sexuality education in the curriculum of elementary, junior high school and senior high schools and strengthens their support systems.
Bermudez said these classes focus on teaching students the proper way of caring for themselves and the disadvantages of early engagement in sexual activities and the resulting teenage pregnancy.
He said they also provide counselling sessions through trained guidance counsellors and teachers.
“We’re making the leaners become more aware of these risks and helping them make the right decisions,” he said.
Bermudez said they partnered with the city government, through the city population office, for the training of their teachers in senior high schools and guidance counsellors on sexuality education.
“Our goal is to integrate this in the regular curriculum and make it a part of the regular classroom instruction,” he added. (MindaNews)