Dear Minister

I want to write something about a shocking news I read online just recently. Responding to recent demands that proper sex education be taught in schools in order to protect children from rape, Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said that it was unnecessary as it could promote indecency among the country’s youth. Nuh told the Post that he had no knowledge about reproductive education. “I am sorry, mentioning s-e-x is already taboo to me,” he said.

The minister, instead, made a negative remark to rape victims, saying that “they do it for fun and then the girl alleges that it’s rape.”

“According to our traditions, it is indecent to talk about it, and that is my standpoint. I don’t believe we need that yet,” the minister told The Jakarta Post in Jakarta on Wednesday. Given the sensitivity of the subject of reproductive education, Nuh suggested that parents should be responsible for assisting their children in learning about reproductive rights. We didn’t get education on reproduction when we were children, but we learned that from our families. Considering the high privacy level of this topic, it is more suitable if the family played a dominant role,” he added.

Activists have urged the ministry to refine reproduction education in the national school curriculum, saying that it might curb the number of teenage rape, which has surged to 27 cases this year. But from what I know, not only activists that have been urging this proposal to the ministry, but the society as well. It comes to a point whether it is taboo or not, children must be prepared with sex education at school. We have been constantly hearing and seeing about sexual abuse, raping reports, sexual harassment conducted by sexual predators.  It is absolutely worrying us!

I am not sure if the minister said this out of his own perspective or out of a decent research, but it implies that he does not know anything about what is going on out there. It seems that he is living under a rock. Sex is definitely not a sensitive subject anymore, since children slash teenagers have been given that impression, they have been exploring “the subject” without sufficient knowledge which caused more disastrous outcomes, such as rapes, assaults, unwanted childbirth, STIs, etc. This is what happening now, indecency among the country’s youth as Nuh says. But mr. Minister is so persistent in shutting down this discussion for whatever taboo reason!

Besides that, sex education should be taught from home too. Parents should teach their children about basic sex education from early age. Not all parents are hands-on when it comes to teaching their children about s.e.x. Because in our country, we are not open-minded about this subject, therefore, schools and parents should be hand in hand in dealing with this subject. I just hope people become more open-minded about sex. It is not the sex itself that is sensitive but the ignorant people who make it so-called sensitive because of their lack of knowledge and associate it with improper contents. Shame on you.


6 thoughts on “Dear Minister

  1. Pingback: The man who can’t say “sex” «

  2. Great. Absolutely agree. Your “letter” speaks my mind. It’s pretty astonishing a man in charge of Education and Culture obviously only represents the prudish and conservative part of the country.

  3. Thank you for your comment! 🙂 .. probably not really astonishing for me merely because I have (almost) never seen something ‘new’ and ‘modern’ let alone ‘revolutionary’ from all Indonesian ministers. However, I truly hope that young Indonesian parents would start implementing basic sex education and really realize how important to teach sex education to their children from early age.

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