Lagos State deputy governor, Hon. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire
Lagos State deputy governor, Hon. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Saturday stated that sex education should be seen and treated as parts of the rights of children, other than a mere subject that should be rarely discussed, noting that unless this becomes the case, all the fears and problems associated with sex and sexuality among the youths cannot be properly addressed and nip in the bud.
Adefulire, who was speaking as a special guest of honour at the public presentation of a book, Youth, Sex and Wellbeing, written by Mrs. Yetunde Fashina-Arebi, at the Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos, added that with years of campaign on the need to educate the young ones on sex and all the issues associated with it, little have been achieved and there is need for a re-orientation for parents and other stakeholders on the need to take a more practical and pragmatic approach towards addressing the subject with their wards.
She added that the ‘computer-age’ has done more harm than good to what the youths are exposed to, noting that studies have shown that 80 per cent of young people look for and gather information on sexual health from the internet and socio-media, while stating that the information gathered from these mediums provide uncensored information, which poses more danger to the youths.
The deputy governor also added that the task of educating the young people about sexual health still remains the primary responsibility of parents, because in her words “they are the first point of contact with the children at all times”, and as such, parents should find it imperative to discuss and listen to their children and wards when issues relating to sex comes up.
She also informed the audience that while the government will continue to provide the enabling laws to guide and protect the children, parents and other stakeholders in the protection and development of the younger generation must support the government by availing the youths their ears to listen to their problems and questions with a view to proffering workable solutions.
While thanking the author of the book for a job well done in providing another relevant research material on sex and the youth, the deputy governor enjoined everyone to read through book and share from the experiences and stories of different characters featured in it with a view to have a better understanding of the subject and in addition a better society can emerge.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion and a retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Adeshola Oguntade, praised the author for a job well done, noting that with the book, the era of discussing sex in ‘hush tones’ is gone and parents and their children can begin to learn and understand the steps necessary to living a good life.
Justice Oguntade noted that the economic pursuits of parents usually leave the children at the mercy of care-givers, who often times cause more problems for the children than solve any and advised parents to pay particular attention to their children even as they go in search of their economic life-line.
The author of the book, Fashina-Arebi, in her response noted that she was inspired to write the book after many years of interaction with the younger generation, especially those who had been involved in sexual related issues.
She said the information and experiences gathered from such people has shown that majority of the youths are ignorant of the subject of sex and are only involved in it through peer pressure and what they get through the news media, adding that most of them fell victim to all manner of vices due to this ignorance.
She appealed to parents, guardians and other stake-holders to take a new approach and begin to educate the young ones, as she noted “youths of today know more than what we thought they ever would know”.
Highlight of the event was the presentation and launch of the book.
The event was graced by well-meaning individuals from the government and private sector as wells students from various public and private schools in the state.