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Sexuality Education - What Is Covered In Singapore Schools

Parents have an important responsibility to their children to teach them everything so they can be prepared to make their way in the real world. Sexuality is an important part of identity, and Singapore schools recognize this. Because of this, Sexuality Education was introduced to the curriculum in 2000.

Ever since then, it has gone through many reviews and changes, and now it focuses on different levels of this education. If you are a concerned parent, you are in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about what is covered in Sexuality Education in Singapore schools.


A Brief Overview Of Sexuality Education In Singapore

The curriculum of Sexuality Education is holistic so that students can learn every aspect without any issues. The MOE has issued guidelines that the curriculum should be taught using science lessons, eTeens programme, and character and citizenship education lessons. Such an education is conducted from Primary 5 till junior college and Millennia Institute.

At each stage of this curriculum, your child will learn something new so that they can be equipped with all the knowledge related to all aspects of sexuality. Keep in mind that the curriculum also takes into account the social norms of the country and the family values.

Besides that, it also teaches children to respect themselves and other people around them, along with the importance of boundaries. This is why you don't need to worry about the content. Here are some things that this curriculum encourages or teaches:

  • Abstinence before marriage
  • How to prevent diseases
  • What will be the consequences of having casual sex
  • Facts about using contraceptives like IUD and what they do
  • How to create boundaries and say no when someone comes with a sexual advance
  • What is homosexuality?
  • Importance of respect, understanding, and empathy for everyone, regardless of their sexuality or preferences

By the end of this curriculum, children will have strong boundaries and learn to respect everyone around them. So, you don't have to worry about this curriculum teaching something you don't want your child to learn.


The Curriculum Of Sexuality Education

It is crucial to understand what the curriculum covers at each stage. Here are all the different programmes and subjects that the schools use to impart sexuality education to students:

1. Science And Biology

Science and Biology is an important subject that covers sex education for students to learn more. Here are some of the themes and conncepts it covers at the upper primary and secondary levels.

  • Reproduction concept
  • STIs
  • Medical advancements related to reproduction
  • Sexual reproduction in humans
  • Cycles in animals (covered briefly)
  • And more

Keep in mind that what your child learns will differ at each stage and in what stream they are in. By the time they are in O Levels, they will learn important yet complex concepts related to sexual reproduction and STIs. These include the female and male reproductive system, menstrual cycles, HIV, and much more.

You can learn more about what your child will learn at each level here. It will provide you with a deeper understanding of what you can expect from the Science and Biology curriculum.

2. CCE (Character And Citizenship Education)


Another way sexuality education is imparted to the students is through the CCE. The primary aim behind this is to help children manage their interpersonal relationships. This is done by encouraging a positive attitude toward oneself and other people.


Here are some things that are taught at each level:

  • Lower Primary Level: Social and emotional learning. Protection from online and offline sexual abuse, right to safety, and how to seek help if someone is sexually threatening or abusing them
  • Primary 5 till Year 2 in JC: Building respectful and healthy relations, dating, marriage, going steady, sexual health issues and behaviors, consequences of teenage sex and pregnancy, and protection from sexual abuse and grooming

The syllabus will differ between each level, but by the time the students are done, they will learn how to manage relationships and make better decisions. All the information and consequences are presented to the students so that they can make informed decisions regarding their behavior.

3. Empowered Teens Programme (eTeens)

The eTeens Programme is for Secondary 3 students and Year 1 students in JC or Millennia Institute. The programme has been created by the Health Promotion Board while collaborating with MOE, and it covers information on:

  • HUV and STIs

  • How to prevent obtaining HUV and STI
  • How to maintain abstinence from sex
  • How to make responsible decisions regarding sex
  • How to be assertive and say to any sexual advances
  • Ways you can resist peer pressure

By the time the programme is done, students will have knowledge of how they can protect themselves when others make sexual advances toward them. They will also not come under peer pressure and make better decisions. The programme is delivered through mass talks and a classroom-based lesson.


Benefits Of Sexuality Education In Singapore Schools

As a parent, it is crucial for you to ensure that your children have all the knowledge they need to make decisions regarding relationships. Because of this, sexuality education is one of the most important tenets of their education. Here are some of the top benefits your children will reap through Sexuality Education in Singapore:

Promotion Of Responsible And Healthy Sexual Behavior

One of the top things your child will learn is how to be responsible in sexual behavior and what healthy behavior looks like. The curriculum delivers age-appropriate information at each stage so that your child has relevant information regarding this topic. It will help them reduce the risk of STIs, unwanted pregnancies, and much more.

They will also learn what sexual abuse and threats look like so they don't put themselves in such a situation or be assertive. If you want your children to be responsible about these things, then you also need to ensure they receive this education. Without your support, children will not be able to make smart decisions.

Boosts Open Communication

Communication is an important component of Sexuality Education because most people don't learn how to talk respectfully about these aspects. However, sexuality education is crucial to learn how to respectfully and openly talk about relationships, sex, consent, and much more. This will guarantee that the students also open up to their parents about these things.

When there are adults that can guide students to make better decisions, they will automatically make good choices. So, the curriculum of Sexuality Education will guarantee communication between students. In the long run, everyone will respect one another and not violate boundaries.

Addressing Misconceptions And Myths

Children are exposed to social media, and all the information available on these channels is not accurate. They learn distorted information about sex and relationships, which can hinder their learning. On the other hand, Sexuality Education has been designed to dispel any misconceptions and myths that children may have regarding sex and relationships.

The purpose behind this is to ensure that even if students want to engage in this activity, they can use contraceptives and are smart about it. Such steps will guarantee that they don't contract HIV or have an unwanted pregnancy. So, busting myths and misconceptions is important.

Promotion Of Respect And Gender Equality

We are living in a world where people want to be seen and heard, which is why gender identity is playing a big role in our culture. It is important for students to learn to respect everyone from an early age, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Such respect promotes inclusiveness, and nobody feels left out.

Another important aspect of this promotion is that it reduces discrimination and bullying against LGBTQ+ individuals. Mutual respect is crucial for human development, regardless of our race, culture, gender identity, and other factors. When children go into the professional and globalized world, they will learn to be more inclusive if these values have been incorporated from an early age.

Supporting Emotional And Mental Health

Sex is not just a physical act because it also involves emotions such as intimacy, love, and more. The curriculum addresses all these emotional aspects so that students can also learn it is a holistic act. Because of this, they will not take it lightly and make better decisions.

Such information will help students to develop healthy relationships. It will also decrease the risk of having mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. So, it is an important aspect of their education if they want to lead healthy lives.


What Role Can You Play In Your Child's Sexuality Education?

As a parent, you have one of the most important roles to play in the Sexuality Education of your child. They learn most things at home, which is why you need to ensure that they have all the support they need.

Here are some ways in which you can support sex education for your child:

1. Begin Early

You must impart such knowledge early and help your children gain awareness about these things. For example, when your children are in primary school, you can introduce them to basic concepts. These include boundaries, body parts, gender identity, and more.

Doing this from an early age will create a solid foundation on which any knowledge that they receive will rest. It will also make it easier for you to have discussions later on regarding even more complex topics of sexuality.

2. Always Offer Accurate Information

Make sure you do your research and provide accurate information to your children. This includes information regarding STIs, contraception, sex, and much more. Keep in mind that they are also exposed to the internet, which is why they can confirm this information themselves.

So, paint an accurate picture to help your children make better decisions and reduce the risks of contracting STIs or unwanted pregnancies. It will also promote more trust between you and your children.

3. Language Is Important

The language you use can make all the difference in how your children perceive what you say. The key is to use language appropriate for their age so that they are not confused about what you are saying. It will also help your child to feel more comfortable as they listen to what you have to say.

Create a comfortable environment and then use language they understand. Once you do this, they will respond the way you want them to with the information you present.

4. Respect Privacy

As parents, it is crucial to build trust with your child, which means respecting their privacy. Even when you discuss relationships and sex, you should respect this aspect. In the long run, this will ensure that children don't feel shame or embarrassment regarding these topics.

Besides that, it will also help them feel more comfortable. Respecting children is important for them to trust you and others around them.

5. Focus On Beliefs And Values

You must focus on the values and beliefs that you follow so that children can understand what is important. You can talk about your beliefs and values regarding relationships, sex, consent, and much more. Doing this will ensure the children have a positive attitude regarding these aspects.

It will also help them understand what values are important to them and why. So, they will have a much stronger moral compass that will allow them to make better decisions regarding relationships and sex.


Final Thoughts

That was everything you needed to know regarding Sexuality Education in Singapore. It is an important aspect of your child's education that will help them develop better relationships, be inclusive, and reduce unnecessary risks. Such information should be imparted to children from an early age to help guide their decisions.

Once you do, your children will be in a much better position to make positive decisions. It will also allow them to be open and honest with you when it comes to these things. You can help them every step of the way so that they don't have to feel alone in this process.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.