Life skill and reproductive health education at School

Topics: Human sexual behavior, Health, Reproductive health Pages: 7 (2030 words) Published: September 21, 2013
Life skill and reproductive health education at School

M S Siddiqui
Part Time Teacher, Leading University Pursuing PhD in Open University, Malaysia e-mail:

WHO (World Health Organization) suggested Adolescent reproductive health (ARH) and life skills education (LSE) for the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents. ARH and LSE enhance their ability to be healthy and remain free from too-early or unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS, and sexual violence and coercion, sexual assault, rape and prostitution, malnutrition, unsafe abortion.

Life skills are behaviors that enable individuals to adapt to and deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. There are many such skills, but core life skills include the ability to: Make decisions, solve problems, and think critically and creatively, Clarify and analyze values, Communicate, including listen, build empathy, be assertive, and negotiate, Cope with emotions and stress, Feel empathy with others and be self-aware.

UN report mentioned that one in every five persons on the earth is an adolescent aged between 10-19 years, and 85% of these adolescents live in developing countries. An estimated 1.7 million adolescents die every year mainly from accidents, violence, pregnancy related problems or illnesses that are either preventable or treatable.

As per study, the majority has no idea about the changes associated with puberty (e.g., menstruation or wet dreams) until they experience them, though the strong family structure plays a major role in the lives of adolescents but it fails to respond to their needs for reproductive health information. An estimated 1.7 million adolescents die every year mainly from accidents, violence, pregnancy related problems or illnesses that are either preventable or treatable. The best investment in and education and health sector should go to this segment of population to shape the future of mankind.

Bangladesh statistics mentioned about 23% of the total population is adolescents. Among them 52% are male, while 48% are female. The approximate number of adolescent is 33 million in the year 2001 and the absolute size already raised to rise to 35 million by the year 2010. Almost 60% of adolescent girls are married off before they reach the age of 18 years, one third of them start child bearing in their teenage years, while about 28% of adolescent girls are already mothers.

These young people have tremendous demographic significance as their individual development and social contribution will shape the future of the world, investment in children’s health, nutrition and education is the foundation for national development.

Adolescents in Bangladesh have very limited access to reproductive health and life skills information due to cultural, social and religious belief and practice. Nationally, it is reported that only 37.6% of girls and 19.9% of adolescent boys discuss pubertal changes with parents, and 37% of girls and 61% of boys discuss the issue with friends and peers. Discussion about their marriage and marriage partners with parents is even lower. It was reported that most adolescent discussions about Reproductive health (RH) and marriage issues take place among friends and peers. It has been shown that teen mothers are more likely to suffer from severe complications during delivery and infants born to adolescent mothers have a greater possibility of dying early. Overall, adolescent girls in the age group of 15-19 contribute 20% of the total babies born in a given year in year 2000. Analysis of available data on variables, such as education, nutrition, fertility, marriage, use of health services, and knowledge and use of...
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