Sex ed short­fall

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

dropped two of its main pro­grammes, Sex ’ n’ Re­spect Par­ties and Sex ’n’ Re­spect Al­ter­na­tive Ed­u­ca­tion, be­cause it sim­ply did not have enough money to of­fer them to schools.

‘‘Real­is­ti­cally we need at least another $500,000 if we were to sub­stan­tially reach schools in Auckand,’’ Dr McGre­gor says.

Mt Roskill Gram­mar School has of­fered Rape Pre­ven­tion Ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions for about 10 years.

Head of guid­ance Mar­garet Hoogen­doorn says the pro­grammes are a real as­set to the stu­dent body.

‘‘I no­tice now when I dis­cuss ro­man­tic relationships with stu­dents and I name the con­sent is­sue they have an un­der­stand­ing of what con­sent means, be­cause it is so fully ex­plained in the BodySafe pro­gramme,’’ she says.

‘‘What I re­ally like about it is that the fin­ger is not just pointed at the boys. It is for boys and girls both.’’

Ms Hoogen­doorn would like to see the ser­vice get more fund­ing so that it can con­tinue to of­fer all its cour­ses.

‘‘The qual­ity of these pro­grammes is re­ally high and we feel re­ally priv­i­leged to have them in our school,’’ she says.

His­tor­i­cally a large chunk of the cost has been train­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tors, who up un­til now have been em­ployed on a part-time ba­sis.

Train­ing a fa­cil­i­ta­tor takes three to six months.

‘‘Last year we hired and trained 17 fa­cil­i­ta­tors and 11 of them went and got full­time jobs, so we haven’t been able to re­tain our spe­cial­ist staff,’’ Dr McGre­gor says.

‘‘So this year we are mov­ing to a full-time model with the fund­ing we get from the Min­istry of Health, so we will only have a few ed­u­ca­tors but we will be able to re­tain them.’’

The long-term goal of Rape Pre­ven­tion Ed­u­ca­tion is to ex­pand its pro­grammes to more schools as well as pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to par­ents.

‘‘The stu­dents of­ten say to us they don’t get this in­for­ma­tion from any­where else, and ev­ery school that we go into the stu­dents ask for more,’’ she says.

Life lessons: Some Auck­land teens may be miss­ing out on sex ed­u­ca­tion be­cause of a lack of fund­ing.

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