Trial sex ed program not ready to take off officially in Quebec
A two year pilot project on sexual education is coming to an end, after being tested preliminarily in 19 schools throughout Quebec.
Even after its elapsed trial time, some believe that the project is definitely not ready to be implemented province-wide.
It’s not a program that teachers are lining up to take charge of— mainly because after two years, the guidelines on how and when to teach sexual education have been slow in coming.
Quebec has not had a standardized sex education course in schools for more than a decade-- this project was intended as a "no exemptions" approach to sex ed.
Howard S. Billings in Chateauguay is the only English high school to be part of the widespread sex ed pilot project.
The five to fifteen hour program is proving difficult to introduce. Billings principal Brian Seltman says the education ministry hasn’t given teachers or administrators much to work with.
However, some of the bases are covered in other, existing, high school classes.
“The science program does teach to grades seven, eight, and nine about different issues surrounding sexuality,” Seltman told CTV News. “That includes STD’s, relationships, [and] gender.”
Seltman also explained that ministry officials should step up and translate their material into English for use in the English system, in addition to allocating some concrete books and resources that can be used.
In the first year of the project, Rob Buttars, the director general of the New Frontiers School Board told CTV News that they struggled with serious delays, only receiving applicable teaching material after the trial hit its halfway mark.
“We are coming to the end of the pilot program, and my recommendation to everyone involved is that we need to take a little more time to do it properly,” Buttars said.
Education minister Sebastien Proulx said Wednesday that he is aware of the complaints and will make efforts to improve the standing sex ed program, including the provision of stronger teaching tools and other resources.
Proulx also said that he feels the program has underlying value and plans to add more schools to the sex ed project in the coming years-- hopefully making it obligatory learning by the fall of 2018.
The original idea pitched in 2015 called for sex ed classes to take place for students in grades one, three, five, seven, nine, and eleven.