12 Jun 2012

Change of Kiribati school curriculum to include sex education

2:08 pm on 12 June 2012

The Kiribati minister of education says she's working to change the school curriculum to enable adolescents to learn about sex.

Maere Tekanene made the comment during the New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development's annual meeting in Wellington which has focused this year on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of Pacific adolescents.

Ms Tekanene says although Kiribati has a very high rate of teenage pregnancy and many young people are engaging in risky behaviour, talking about sex is taboo.

She says that makes it challenging for sexual and reproductive health service providers to be effective and she is working hard to implement a new school syllabus.

"But I think we can begin by allowing these service providers to get into schools and raise awareness at schools like any other NGO service provider has been doing - community policing and dissemination of findings that the community needs to know."

Maere Tekanene says parents in Kiribati should be well aware by now that their children are already exposed to sex through various media.