Youth Commission Draws Flak for Proposal of Gender Separation in Schools to Solve Teenage Pregnancy

The Commission on Population reported that close to 200,000 women aged 15 to 19 get pregnant each year.

To solve the perennial problem of teenage pregnancy, the National Youth Commission (NYC) wants schools to hold separate classes for boys and girls!

Maraming mga grade school pa lang, mag-girlfriend at boyfriend sila dahil magkaklase sila. At kung meron silang activity na magsasama sila sa isang bahay, doon nangyayari, pwedeng maging teenage mother agad-agad,” explained NYC chairperson Ryan Enriquez.

Kasi kung curious ka at may kaklase kang lalaki, andoon ang temptation.

Photo credit: National Youth Commission / Facebook

For Enriquez, the gender segregation in classrooms is best done from Grades 7 to 12. But this proposal was met with opposition from many sectors.

While the church sector does not agree with the idea of providing teens easier access to contraceptives, they are also against the idea of segregating students according to gender.

Teen pregnancies and HIV incidents are attributed not to the heterogeneity of students in classrooms, but to the lack of thoughtful regard to values and formation at home, in communities and in sad cases, in some classrooms,” countered San Jose Bishop Roberto Mallari, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (CBCP-ECCCE).

The bishop also pointed out that students should learn to interact with other genders because ‘the world out there’ is designed as a heterogenous society.

Photo credit: National Youth Commission / Facebook

Besides the great big world out there is designed for a system of dynamic social interactions that is almost boundless: no sex or gender, no age, no socio-economic status, no religion, no race, nothing separates man from the rest,” Mallari explained.

Schools need to design more opportunities for focus engagements with adults and with community and church leaders to talk about the problems, how these problems create a culture of indifference and value degradation and how the youth of the new generation can participate in the functioning of social structures.”

A lot of teachers don’t agree with the proposal, either. After all, so many schools in the Philippines already lack teachers for the current heterogenous setup, how much more if the proposal would push through and they would have to teach the genders separately.

Such a sad day for the Philippines’ youth when chair of youth commission seriously suggests that segregating classes will reduce teen pregnancy since boys and girls won’t have any projects to work on together,” reacted Reproductive Health Advocate Ami E Swanepoel.

Some netizens also pointed out that this would add more debates to the gender equality debate in the Philippines. After all, if classes will be separated based on gender, would that mean there would also be separated classes for the LGBTQ+ community?

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