Vote Now To Shape The Sex Education Curriculum For Future Generations

Sex education was officially introduced to Irish schools in the mid-1990s. And if the official guidance is anything to go by, it hasn't aged well.

A group looking to change the Irish sex education curriculum is looking for your signature to add weight to the process. 

Uplift – the independent multi-issue campaign organisation taking coordinated action for progressive change in Ireland – will be delivering a petition for 'empowering' sex education to the Department of Education on Thursday and are aiming for 2,000 signatories.

As it stands, the current system, which is understood to be some 20 years old, offers no education on safe internet use or support or information regarding LGBTQ+ matters.

The Provision of Objective Sexual Education Bill, fronted by TDs Paul Murphy, Bríd Smyth and Ruth Coppinger passed the second parliamentary stage in April 2018 and has, ever since, been blocked from reaching the Dáil stage. 

It guarantees the right of students to receive factual and objective relationships and sexuality education regardless of a school's ethos.

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The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) – the body that oversees the school curriculum will decide what changes they’ll take on board – will be deciding which elements exactly will feature in the Bill. 

"Politicians, teachers, youth workers, parents have all fed into the expert reports that the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) will be looking at as the plan what changes they will allow," Uplift wrote in a press release. 

"While the expert reports are strong, we need to show there is public support behind them too so that the changes go far enough to meet the needs of young people in Ireland today."

In addition to signing the petition, Uplift is also asking potential signatories to share memories and experience of sex education in order to provide tangible proof that the current system is wildly outdated. 

Their key recommendations are that:

1. Young people grow up with the right information in order to make informed decisions about their own sexuality and relationships.

2. Young people grow up understanding consent, especially in the #MeToo era and at a time when there remains a high prevalence of sexual assault, harassment and violence.

3. Young people grow up with an education that is inclusive of people's sexual orientation, gender identity and the spectrum thereof, at a time when LGBT students still face high amounts of homophobic and transphobic related bullying.

To promote change and sign the petition, click here

Main image by @papermagazine

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