An Islamic values-based module that would boost young Muslims’ gender and health education was finally released after three years of preparation.
Proponents and stakeholders on adolescents’ sexual reproductive health in the Philippines and Indonesia launched the Comprehensive Gender and Health Education for Youth (CGHEY) module last Feb. 24,, a statement from the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) bared Thursday, March 11.
Indonesia’s Ministry of the State Secretariat and the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and PopCom jointly released the five-section compendium that aims to educate Muslim adolescents on critical information in the areas of anatomy and physiology, gender and development, health and nutrition, social relationships, as well as human relations and spiritual responsibilities, in the context of Islamic values and principles.
According to the PopCom, the module went through a three-year consultation and field testing.
PopCom’s offices in Region 12 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) gradually disseminated the teachings of the module while in the process of its development. Aside from educating Muslim adolescents on Islamic values-based information on matters of gender and sexual reproductive health, the module also aims to empower them to be able to discern in making the right decisions for their well-being and protect them from the demands and challenges of daily living, PopCom Region 12 Director Edwin Mateo Quijano said.
He added that the core messages are intended for learners in elementary to high school under the Madrasah Education Program.
Moreover, PopCom’s Deputy Executive Director Lolito Tacardon said the significance of the CGHEY module is reinforced amid the increase in the number of teenage pregnancies across the country—especially among very young adolescents—which is further aggravated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It is vital that we ensure the steady flow of accurate gender- and culturally-sensitive information needed to empower young Muslims, enabling them to make informed choices and sound decisions,” Tacardon said. “The module will create a meaningful impact for BARMM’s youth to be healthy, responsible, and productive citizens of their generation.” He said that according to the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey, Region 12 and BARMM have two of the highest total fertility levels in Mindanao at 3.4 and 3.1, respectively. Both exhibited elevated fertility levels compared to other regions, and rank higher than the national norm of 2.7.