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(File pix) The Education Ministry has no plans to introduce an additional subject on sex education in the school curriculum.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has no plans to introduce an additional subject on sex education in the school curriculum.

Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon said sex education was already incorporated into the existing curriculum, and the government did not want to further burden schoolchildren.

He said instead, the government encouraged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to hold talks in schools to educate children on the topic.

“We welcome NGOs to take the initiative to increase students’ awareness on sex. Such awareness campaigns can help students protect themselves (against sexual assaults),” he told reporters outside the Parliament lobby today.

Chong said however, NGOs needed to receive prior approval from schools before being allowed to hold such talks.

Asked whether the current syllabus was sufficient in spreading sex education awareness, Chong said the ministry welcomed feedback from parents and NGOs on how the syllabus could be further improved.

On a related matter, Chong said the ministry is looking into the recent spate of violent and sexual assaults on schoolchildren.

“We have received an increasing number of such reports. In fact, there was an incident that happened in Kulai this morning.

“We have instructed all schools to tighten security within school grounds. We have to make sure schools are safe for children. Also, we don’t encourage parents to send their children to school too early.

“Do not leave your children alone in the dark… wait for more schoolchildren to arrive before dropping them off,” he said.

Chong added that security companies that fail to ensure the safety of students in schools would be replaced immediately.

“I personally went to Seremban after hearing about a series of break-ins that occurred in schools there. I think we need to have a review of security companies to ensure its personnel are competent.”

On another matter, Chong said schools needed to apply for exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if they plan to hold extra activities, including computer classes, for students.

“We have an exit clause for GST exemption, but exemptions are subject to the Finance Ministry’s terms and conditions.

“Not all schools offer computer classes, for example. So, schools that come up with their own initiatives need to apply for the exemption,” he said, adding that the ministry would offer assistance to those schools, if necessary.

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