Sex classes added to curriculum;Briefing

15th May 1998 at 01:00
China. China has launched a 10-year programme to teach its teenagers about the physical and emotional effects of sex and puberty.

The scheme will be paid for by a school health education development fund to which US company Procter amp; Gamble (China) Ltd has pledged $843,000 (pound;510,000).

How to cope with puberty has long been a sensitive topic in China. Parents find it particularly difficult to talk about the issue with their children. It is also a taboo subject among friends.

Since the late 1980s health experts and education authorities have recognised the importance of sex education in promoting birth control and reinforcing the country's one-child per family policy.

Song Jinxian, director general of the department of physical, health and art education, called for teachers to learn from world experiences and to adopt overseas teaching materials. He stressed that parents should support puberty education. "Health education at the time of puberty should be an integral part of the Chinese curriculum," he said.

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