5/07/2009

Oh my god, MOE suspends Aware's CSE programme

'Our aim has always been to help students make informed and responsible decisions about their sexuality in the context of values taught by their parents.' This is a response from an Aware spokesman. Then how could MOE suspend their CSE programme? And MOE found some information in the instructor guide inappropriate but 'Aware spokesman said: "We stand by our CSE programme." She emphasised that the guide is "a confidential document used strictly during the training of the CSE instructors".' Oh my god! Does it mean that no one is supposed to know its content because it is confidential but could be taught to students? Oh my god, MOE suspends the CSE programme in less than a week after investigation when it was officially deemed that the programme was acceptable a week ago, no complaints, fine. What is happening huh? You mean all this while some of the CSE programme were too explicit, inappropriate and promoting alternative lifestyle, were used to educate our young children and only with vehement complaints and an Aware saga that this was found out? Are we looking at the relevant facts or it was just an emotional response without facts? Oh my god, oh my god!

20 comments:

CatFightLover said...

The MOE should take back control of running schools instead of farming it out to the Principals, some of whom runs their schools like a fiefdom.

This sorry episode,to me, indicates a loss of control. All teaching materials must be vetted by the MoE. Insofar as the education of our children is concerned, there is no such thing as a "secret" or "confidential" curriculum or teaching method.

Now, for damage control, how to wipe off the "inappropriate" portion that was taught? We can't do a product recall here! LOL.

Maybe, just maybe, the "feminist mentor" was right after all.

That's why my stand is that you can't really tell the good guys from the bad guys nowadays. I dare say we may have booted out the good guys and as a parting shot, Ms Josie Lau wished AWARE all the best. HeHe.

坡仔哥哥 said...

I think that there is nothing wrong with MOE leaving it to Principals to run their own schools and not take back control.

We cannot take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Singapore schools was too much like a factory for far too long. We need creative and passionate leadership in schools.

If MOE chooses to view the topic of homosexuality apart from religion, then the spirit of the cirriculum should be about information to the students, what and how it is.

MOE should not make a stand on this topic but at the same time, not shun it just because it is controversial.

MOE should embrace and in fact, facilitate diversity..I wonder if it has the courage to handle the controversy that comes with it.

Anonymous said...

Me don't understand.

MOE has teachers for all subject. It has no teacher to teach sex education.

And sex education is for boys and girls but MOE gets a Women Organization to teach sex to our students.

Why not get the sex specialists in Institute of Mental Health to run the sex education for our youths ? The sex and sexuality experts are definitely more qualified.

patriot

Janice said...

i agreed that there is no such thing as "confidential". Teaching method should not be a secret. But then, when it comes to sensitive sex education, alot of people will always protest the content of it. teachers and principals will always be struck in the middle. I think its still too early to point finger. However, school still have to run sex education. And what should be shown in the programme is critical cos' that will be the messages that will be send out to the youngters who may interpret it wrongly

Anonymous said...

"MOE should embrace and in fact, facilitate diversity..I wonder if it has the courage to handle the controversy that comes with it."

When it comes to sex education for students, you cannot leave it to someone who is allowed to embrace or facilitate diversity. If we have a trainer say homosexuality is normal, this isn't staying neutral, it is actually lending acceptance to homosexuality. As a father of two teenagers and a toddler, I absolutely am against such a position. My kids are not ready to make a position. By someone who is placed in a position of respect saying that is simply wrong.

Homosexuality does not and will never be a basic unit for stable family structure - regardless of what religion you are from.

While I was amused by what happened in Aware, I am frightened by what I see as a group of people who are not in power who seemed to have this pro-homosexuality bent. When confronted by MOE suspending their program, they would come out and justify it by saying crap like its a confidential document and they stand by their program. It sounds like stealth indoctrination of our next generation – very sneaky I may add.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Not to worry boys and girls. If you rely on your parents or the government to teach you about sex — you're in for a surprise when you grow up. :-)

Nevermind if AWARE is forbidden to teach you. Uncle Matilah is thinking of putting a program (especially tailored for the gals) together to teach about the birds and bees and how to have lots and lots of fun :-))

Jaunty Jabber said...

Even if we have confidence that the kids' young brains are not that "porous" as compared to our land (which Mr Wong Can't Sing has regarded our land to be, with MSK disappearing through one of the pores), we are disgusted by pretentious syllabus.

If someone has made use of AWARE as a platform to reach out to propagate own unique beliefs to the young, how to "undo" the effect?

The program started since Year 2006, 11 schools received it (maybe more, usually there are more if dig dig & dig on), each session consists of 20 to 100 students. If the 20 to 100 students continue to further "enrich" themselves on special knowledge by clicking on websites and blogs written by special trainers, then share and spread their enrichment with their friends, the scope of "effect" gets widen easily.

For students who are having mindset that are inclusive by the main stream society, gaining "special knowledge" on sexuality could be understand as there are now 1 extra alternative to choose from.

For those who are somehow lost and confused on own sexuality, would get affirmation that it is normal and neutral to carry on with their special orientation.

For teens who are tempted to try the edam & eve deed, would consider that it is now okay to "do it" because simple protection that they were taught & encouraged to use is easily available and inexpensive.

Any one of the above is contributing positives or negatives to the society and mankind?

坡仔哥哥 said...

"When it comes to sex education for students, you cannot leave it to someone who is allowed to embrace or facilitate diversity."

YOU SHOULD - Because w/o it, you cannot handle such a tough issue such as Sex Education...With Embrace, you will have Commitment and Courage. With Diversity, you will allow students to know the facts (from fiction) and allow them to make decisions about themselves and others around them. They will also learn the value of Respect.

These are the key elements which I feel was lacking in the entire debacle concering AWARE...

"As a father of two teenagers and a toddler, I absolutely am against such a position. My kids are not ready to make a position. By someone who is placed in a position of respect saying that is simply wrong."

This is your personal opinion as a father and I respect that, but u cannot make decisions for them forever - you should not and they will not allow it either...trust me, i am a father as well...


"Homosexuality does not and will never be a basic unit for stable family structure - regardless of what religion you are from. "

- Have u been to L.A.? seen the "L Word" ? you will be surprised by the level of social acceptance of same sex families and the legal recognition which support such same sex families units

I urge you to reconsider your position as a father as well as a citizen of Singapore, we NEED to Embrace and Facilitate Diversity...this issue is NOT just about U alone, it is about the changing and evolving identity of Singapore, a global and diverse city state.

Please consider....?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Judging from the opinion over CSE and sex education in general, I'm drawing a conclusion that the PAP is WRONG — patently and unequivocally WRONG about S'porean's not yet being 'ready' for democracy.

The arguments have been passionate and many worthy of consideration — even the extreme positions.

My personal position is that if the kids were first taught how to THINK FOR THEMSELVES, sex education could be delivered without the emotional colouring and moral absolutism andmoral relativism which only clouds the issue.

Having a good sex life is an extention of having a good life. Having healthy attitudes towards sex is a subset of having a good attitude in general. There is no activity which brings humans in such intimate physical and emotional contact as a sexual relationship. Good sexual relationships are another form of good relationships, which comes from how one sees oneself in the universe and the relationship with other humans, then the special relationship with 'special' humans.

...and it all boils down to the ability of THINKING FOR YOURSELF, and appreciating and supporting the idea that others do the same.

Think For Yourself by George Hrab (Geologic Podcast)

redbean said...

teaching children about sex is the right step forward. but there are two points that we need to consider. one is that the children, yes, need to be taught to think for themselves. two, at 12 or 15 or even 18, many are still information takers. many are not ready to make value judgements at these age. yes, some will mature a bit faster and could think quite well. but many below 16 will still need a lot of hand holding or guidance. at 12 or 13, highly vulnerable and impressionable to new ideas and adverturism.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Critical thinking — which is what 'thinking for yourself' is all about, is not a 'natural' skill.

Children tend to be ego-centered and unaware of that fact. Also, they have to rely on 'authority' merely to be able to stay alive — safety, food etc.

From the evolutionary point: we are wired for survival in groups. Therefore humans will tend to follow 'authority' because there was (is?) some 'survival value' in following leaders.

We are also wired for 'agency detection' — that is to form conclusions if we detect some form of 'cause'. For e.g. if you hear a sound in your house at night, you might automatically think of an intruder, or a ghost or whatever, when it might only be the wind or something equally non-threatening.

Go back to a time where people were mostly superstitious. They would believe ANYTHING, especially if it came from 'authority'. Aspects of nature were attributed to the machinations of gods, devils, spirits and the like. And then, science and the scientific method evolved.

But science-based thinking cannot itself trounce millenia of evolutionary psychology. EVERYONE, without exception, can be fooled at least some of the time. And as a result, 'authority' still has the hold over many of the beliefs people have today.

Critical thinking is a learned skill, and the younger children are taught it, the better.

I include this link as an excellent general introduction to critical thinking skills and the detection of logical fallacies.

Also applying Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit is useful.

As an exercise, readers might want to try to identify the 'baloney' and logical fallacies using the AWARE saga as an excellent real-world example.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S.

During times of economic uncertainty, the opportunists from the MLM (multi level marketing), S.C.A.M (Supplementary Complementary & Alternative Medicine), new age, 'heal-yourself- and-get-rich Oprah Winfrey/Deepark Chopra et al bullshit are poised and ready to relieve the unsuspecting of their cash.

It is during these 'uncertain times' where critical thinking skills are even more important as the first line of defense against being ripped-off.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to answer the email I've received from some folks in Nigeria, whom I've never met but seem to be interested in doing business with me... ;)

redbean said...

hi 坡仔哥哥, welcome to the blog.

we cannot escape from educating the children on sex and homosexuality. there are two points that i want to make.

1. pre teen or teenagers may be smart, even taught critical thinking, but they are still not knowledgeable enough or mature enough to make value judgement on such controversial issues. it is best to deal with them at the college level.

2. the sexual orientation of the trainers must be declared. this would allow the students to know where he/she is coming from. a homosexual will see things in his/her own perspective.

it is unfair for a homosexual to be pushing an agenda as a neutral party. he/she has a vested interest to lead the discussion in a certain direction.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I can bring the discussion back and ask if there seemed to be so many people out there who think that CSE is ok, why is it that the government suspended it only just?

Is it

1. The government is weak and giving in to the minority fundamentalist group?

2. The government is weak and giving in to the majority view?

3. The government is doing it because they think its the right thing to do but was caught unaware of the content before?

4. The government is anti-gay or anti Aware?

It can’t be (4) as they would have blocked the CSE from the start. Which is it?

Who should the government make the policy based on? Should it be

1. Gays?
2. Students?
3. Parents?
4. Everyone?

If its everyone (or more specifically non-parents), how to address the concern for the responsibility that the parents have to carry for values taught which is not aligned with their family values?

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

the premise that many people out there are in favour of the Aware CSE programme needs to be verified. in cyberspace we read a lot of for, but how representatives are these views. a small loud minority can give the impression that many are for. but this is only one aspect of the issue.

the other issue is who is ultimately responsible for the well being of the children? the govt, parents or someone who has nothing to do with the children except being paid to do a job?

can the govt say it is for your own good that it is doing this good enough? or can a trainer say he/she believes strongly that the child should be taught this and that for their own good, against the parent's wishes, be a good enough reason to teach the child whatever the trainer wants?

Jaunty Jabber said...

I have HUGE question on trainer's code of conduct, including conduct in personal living.

If a trainer see no qualm in jumping into bed with new found beau, care less even if the beau is attached or married, offering full facilities for sex plus contraceptives at hand, wouldn't it reveals that this person is all-time ready for sex? Thus matches 1 of the CSE curriculum that "sex is fun"? Imagine telling children of age 12 to 16 that sex is fun.

Anonymous said...

There is no need to tell our students whether heterosexuality (or homosexuality) is normal or abnormal.

Just state the facts:

1) some people are gay and some people are straight, just like some people are chinese and some are indians. Is it more normal to be chinese or more normal to be indian?

2) Gay and straight are words to describe a person's sexual orientation.

3) Homosexuality is neither good nor bad, it's just a type of sexual orientation. (In the same way that red or green is neither good nor bad, just colours)

4) Sexual orientation is innate.

See, just state the facts. No need to pronounce judgement or "take sides". Be neutral.

Matilah_Singapura said...

It's not that easy. Parents still have the ultimate say on what is taught to their kids.

From my observations — whether we judge it as "correct" or not — most parents don't want their kids learning AT SCHOOL about all the in's and out's of homosexual "love/life style".

Anyway, knowing how disobedient and curious kids are, I would say most of their sex education is going to come from the internet.

Kids are not going to care what the fuck the MOE, AWARE or their parents and moron-mortality church/mosque/temple says about sex.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iam Prabhu from chennai,joined today in this forum... :)

Anonymous said...

The Before all 3 Years of Coupling

* In the at the start year of confederation, the guy speaks and the number listens.
* In the second year, the girlfriend speaks and the control listens.
* In the third year, they both admonish and the neighbors listen.


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