Parents have been urged to communicate proper sexual behaviours to their children especially as many plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day amid all manners of ideas and activities surrounding the day.
The advise came from the Ibadan Social and Evaluation Research Team (ISERT) domiciled at the University of Ibadan.
In a research report signed by it’s Coordinator, Professor Uche Isiugo-Abanihe and made available to newsmen at the weeknd, the researchers noted that high proportions of adolescents in Nigeria do not have stable relationships, are sexually active and are ignorant of the health risks of their behaviour.
The report was entitled “Evaluating the implementation of Sexuality and Life Skills Education Among In-school and Out-of-school Adolescents in Nigeria”, funded by Ford Foundation. It called for a Sustained National funding strategy to education adolescents and check risky sexual behaviours as well as the infection and spread of HIV/AIDS.
The researchers want parents to learn more about teaching their children how to make healthy decisions about their sexual health and behaviour as well as acquire the information and health care skills to prevent HIV infection and spread.
According to the experts, the widening gap between generation on sexual education matters must be bridged between parents and adolescents.
Their report noted that the introduction of Family Life and HIV/AIDS Education program into school curricula in Nigeria at the basic and secondary levels as well as teacher training institutions, has had impacts on the lives of some school children however noted that its implementation in States like Taraba, Benue and Gombe were low while Lagos, Kebbi, Jigawa, and Enugu had high implementation levels.
They said young people in Nigeria have poor access to relevant information and services which has led to widespread early sexual initiation, teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion, drug abuse, sexual transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS, the research identified poor funding, inadequate teachers, religion and socio-cultural factors as affecting implementation of Family life and HIV/AIDS Education programs in Nigeria.
The report read: “Some barriers to the implementation of FLHE program in Nigeria included inadequate knowledge, students shyness in discussing sexual issues, low political commitment, slow bureacracy, cultural and religious impediments, labour shortage, lack of incentives for teachers and parents, communication gap between funders and implementing schools and environmental contraints. There is no doubt that much needs to be done to ensure effective and life skills education in Nigeria. There is need for budgetry allocation for HIV/AIDS Education program and prompt release of such funds. For adequate family life and HIV/AIDS education program to be scaled up, there must be adequate government funding both at federal and state levels towards orienting adolescents towards positive sexual behaviours for a secured future.”