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By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

SINGAPORE, September 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A report by Singapore Catholic News says that a sexuality-education program based on Catholic moral principles that has been used in the country for 23 years has been replaced by a Ministry of Education program. The new program, which is mandated for both secular and religious schools, heavily promotes the use of condoms to high school and junior college students.

“After 23 years of providing their sexuality-education programme in schools, Family Life Society (FLS) has failed to obtained approval from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to continue,” the report states.

The Family Life Society is a non-profit organization that offers educational programs, marriage preparation courses, and resources to families and individuals, and is a member of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), and Human Life International (HLI) U.S.A.

The FLS program, called “Celebration of Life” (COL) has been conducted in primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and the Institute of Technical Education colleges since its introduction in 1987, according to the report.

“The fundamental philosophy of COL believes that people are to be loved and should be valued and appreciated as unique and special, with his or her own gifts and talents. Our COL sexuality programme focuses on the belief of the responsible use of each person’s freedom to form relationships and to celebrate and live life to its fullest,” an FLS statement says, adding that COL promotes “virtues and values associated with these beliefs and are sensitive to the secular nature of Singapore society.”

The new Ministry of Education (MoE) program, called “Breaking Down Barriers” (BDB), aims to “to give students accurate information on STIs, HIV and contraception from a health perspective” and includes a “modes of protection, specifically the use of condoms” component.

A MoE fact sheet describes the program as consisting of two parts: a mass talk segment which includes a multimedia presentation, video screenings and a short question and answer session, and a classroom component.

Parents concerned about the inappropriate nature of the program have formed a group called the “Lejeune Society” that is attempting to inform as many parents as possible that “the video being shown as part of this program, entitled “The Sex Files,” is contrary to Catholic teaching on sexuality education and promotes “safe sex” or “safer sex.” This it describes as “a dangerous and immoral policy based on the deluded theory that the condom can provide adequate protection against AIDS … rather than insisting on abstinence outside marriage and fidelity in marriage as the only true and secure education for the prevention of this contagious disease.”

The group has produced a detailed list of its objections to the BDB program and has also prepared a critique of the video “from the perspective of both faith and reason.”

Louis Figueroa, a member of the Lejeune Society, told LifeSiteNews, “The program which claims to teach Abstinence, Be Faithful, use a Condom (ABC), does very little to teach abstinence and fidelity; rather, it is a condom promotional video.”

Figueroa urges parents to request that their children’s schools give them an opportunity to view the video “The Sex Files” so that they can decide if the BDB program and video are suitable for their children, and points out that there is an opt out clause that parents can use to remove their children from the course.

“Parents have the right to exercise their parental authority and since MOE allows parents to opt their children out of the BDB programme, parents should go ahead and opt out as a sign of objection and rejection to the promotion of the use of the condom as shown in the BDB programme,” the Lejeune Society website states.

Figueroa told LifeSiteNews, “Ultimately, we have been able to advise parents and many are truly unaware of the problems with the program and that their children are being led to the culture of death.”

He recommends parents contact the Archdiocese Commission for Catholic Schools, the Ministry of Education and the Health Promotion Board “to request that they respect the rights of Catholic schools to teach sexuality education in a manner consistent with the ethos of the Catholic Church,” and “to insist on a video which reflects the positive virtues of chastity and abstinence before marriage is produced and taught as an alternative to the BDB.”

The Lejeune Society critique of the BDB program and “The Sex Files” video is available here.

Contact information:

Most Rev Msgr Nicholas Chia, D.D., STL  
Archbishop of Singapore  
Archbishop's House  
31 Victoria Street  
Singapore 187997  
Singapore  
Email: [email protected]

Archdiocese Commission for Catholic Schools  
2 Highland Road, CAEC, #02-01  
Singapore 549102  
Singapore  
Ms Wendy Louis, Executive Director  
Email: [email protected]

Ministry of Education  
1 North Buona Vista Drive  
Singapore 138675  
Singapore  
Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Minisiter of Education  
Email: [email protected]

Health Promotion Board  
No 3 Second Hospital Avenue #06-00  
Singapore 168937  
Singapore  
Mr Lam Pin Woon, CEO  
Email: [email protected]

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