Education Ministry laments ‘false and irresponsible’ allegations about sex education in schools

A mother of a Year 6 student uploaded a video to Facebook yesterday to express her concern for Malta’s children over the ‘filth’ being taught during ‘diabolical’ PSCD lessons

The parent claimed that children were being taught 'filth' that was not appropriate for them
The parent claimed that children were being taught 'filth' that was not appropriate for them

The Education Ministry has pushed back against what it described as false and irresponsible claims being made in a number of Facebook posts on the way in which sexual education is being taught in Maltese primary schools.

“I am concerned for our children, not just my daughter but the children of Malta and Gozo,” the mother and former PSCD teacher said in her video.

“[When I used to teach] we talked about sexuality, but not this filth, these diabolical lessons. I was surprised, I was shocked at the diabolical lessons, the dirty, naughty lessons that in this book for 10-year-olds, who, like my daughter have no idea what is being shown to them,” she said.

The woman said she had asked for her child to be kept out of the lessons but was informed by the school that this was not possible and that she needed to take the matter up with the Education Department.

She claims to have been “bullied and abused” by the school’s administration and her daughter’s teacher when she attempted to learn more about the lessons.

The woman appears to have taken issue with the book “featuring people introducing themselves as gay”

“The book features people introducing themselves as gay, wearing their underwear, introducing themselves as gay superheroes…I want to ask, what has it all come to for us to be teaching this to 10-year-olds,” he said.

Another issue with the book appears to be the fact that it includes “a conversation between a boy and a girl who look about 11 or 12”.

“They discuss how they boy feels when they are near each other, how he feels when she is near him and when she is pressing on him, and the same for her. This is what is being taught in PSCD in Year 6.”

The post was met with mixed reactions, with some pointing out that the woman’s reaction was part of the reason the lessons were required.

‘False and irresponsible claims’

Reacting to the post, the ministry said that the PSCD syllabus covered, among other subjects, “sexual development in the most fitting and appropriate manner for children of that age, and places the subject within the context of the development of sincere relationships that are built on love”.

“The reference to gay people is one in that is appropriate for the children in the sixth year, as is worthy of a society that is proud of being tolerant, in favour of diversity and that understands the importance of raising children with the values of tolerance and mutual respect,” the ministry said. 

It added that parents were comprehensively informed about this subject in particular.

“In fact, this is tied to the sexual development that is expalined to all the children’s parents during a meeting that is held and which gives the entire context of how the subject will be taught.”

The ministry also pointed out that the full syllabus can be found of the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes’ website, “which has been public for a number of years”.

Furthermore, it said that the workbook used by children is also public and given to all students.

“The Education Ministry wishes to express its disappointment at the irresponsible way in which some individuals are uploading posts and sharing statements about particular schools and the PSCD subject, that are completely false.

“Publicly, the ministry wants to thank schools, teachers and officials who are teaching our students this delicate subject. It is important that this subject is taught in the way it is in the present syllabus, responsibly and with respect to human dignity.”

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