Sex-ed in schools

children_of_the_futureI came with idea and was the leading organizer  of a conference and series of workshops (“Do you want to talk about it?” – conference and workshop for teachers) we organized with a civil youth organization called TEIS Foundation for teachers and educators in Budapest (HU). The program was financed by a grant provided by the Ministry of National Resources.  One of the purposes of the conference and workshops were to initiate a dialogue among professionals involved in sex education. We invited decision makers, social scientists, school teachers, school counselors, nurses, psychologists, educators, activists, youth facilitators and also youth activists, volunteers from youth organizations. Our aim was to gather all the representatives of the referred state institutions, civil and religious organizations and also individuals working actively with youth. With this event we wanted to urge a public debate on the importance of sexuality education and raise awareness in teachers and learners, in their families and communities of the need of sexuality education in schools where children spend most of their time, where they belong to peers groups, where they have their friends, first loves but also the place where they are discriminated or face violence. In the workshops participants learned new pedagogical methods and shared their practical experience. Using exercises, open discussions, non-formal pedagogical methods we helped them to develop new teaching practices and methods to be able to manage the challenges of communication on sexuality with teenagers on a regular basis. The workshops’ basic objective was to equip teachers with the competencies necessary to adapt sexuality educational programs to the school environment. This included:

– To get acquainted with the theoretical background of sexuality education.
– Learn to construct and adapt detailed curricula on sexuality for 14-18 olds.
– Develop communication techniques/skills and attitudes necessary to work the theme of sexuality  with youth 14-18.
– Develop non-formal pedagogical tools which are capable to transmit information, values and attitude on sexuality to this age group.

Based on this experience Ars Erotica Foundation ’Sexuality education for teenagers’ received funding for 2013 from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources (NEA-UN-13-M-0124). In these sexuality education programs we focused on strengthening the need and skills for open, tolerant, non-violent communication, on developing knowledge about the self and social relations, on responsible, informed, respectful sexuality and family life. We involved volunteers with diverse ethnic, sociocultural and sexual identity backgrounds, and with physical and mental disabilities.

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