Ministry of Education Guide Requires Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Textbooks

By Vanessa Jencks, November 29, 2021

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In November, Sina reported that the Chinese Ministry of Education announced a guide for the Health and Life Education curriculum for grades 1-12, part of compulsory education for grades 1-9. The guide covers five fields and 30 key points spread out throughout the three stages of education, as shown in the figure below.

Image via Sina

A notable mention seems to be a step towards educating children in primary and secondary levels about sexual abuse prevention, a previously sensitive topic just a decade prior to now.

For the primary level, the discussion seems indirect, with “learning to protect oneself” in item two, “learning to communicate with parents and teachers” in item three, and in item five “Master the basic skills of self-protection, help seeking, risk avoidance and escape” and “establish social security awareness such as anti abduction, identify campus bullying and campus violence.”

Primary level students are from grades 1-6, usually of children ages 6 to 12 years old.

The secondary junior level includes grades 7-9, children of ages 13 to 15 years old. Notable mention for this curriculum section includes the more direct nod to prevention, with item two under this age requiring students to “learn the basic knowledge and skills of adolescent health care and improve the ability to prevent sexual harassment and abuse.”

At this level Chinese students will learn how to prevent the spread of infectious disease, including understanding the transmission and prevention of AIDS.

High school students will receive an education in “sex, love and marriage, understand marriage and childbirth related knowledge and laws and regulations, and be able to effectively prevent and respond to sexual harassment and abuse.”

The spread of infectious diseases is deepened at this level along with delving into mental health issues and “correctly understand and treat bad experiences in childhood.”

The full text of what has been issued can be found here.

Though the guide will take time to both implement and train teachers administering the knowledge, positive effects of the curriculum will no doubt be highly anticipated.

[Cover image is "Chinese class" by   and licensed under CC BY 2.0 Pexels]

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