Comprehensive Sexuality Education Training at Muenselling Institute of Khaling

Coordinated by Youth Center Division of the Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, the 6-day Life Skill-based Comprehensive Sexuality Education Training at Muenselling Institute of Khaling in Trashigang has begun since 10th December 2020. The main objective of the training is to equip the teachers and caregivers of the Institute with life skills and knowledge on Comprehensive Sexuality Education so that the visually impaired students of the Institute would be able to lead a healthy and responsible life as they grow up. Many young people face numerous challenges and dilemma as they transition from early childhood to adolescence and young adulthood and hence, it is important that they are equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills that could enable them to cope with issues affecting their everyday lives. Within six days, the participants will not only be introduced to ten core life skills, but they would also be able to understand how to apply those skills in real-life situations to help themselves and their students cope effectively with issues related to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The issues such as unhealthy relationships among young people, unintended pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Infections, substance abuse, bullying and mental health disorders like stress and depression, all stem from the lack of access to appropriate information, knowledge/skills, and services related to SRHR. This life skill-based Comprehensive Sexuality Education training is therefore designed to build the capacity of the participants to deal with visually impaired students more professionally and sensitively so that the sexual and reproductive health needs of the students will be taken care of.Some of the modules covered during this training include: Introduction to Life Skills, Dilemma of Growing Up, Menstrual Health Management, Protection, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Substance Abuse Disorders, Unhealthy Relationships, etc. These modules have been adopted from the Life Skill Education Guidebook for Teachers based on their relevance to the needs of children/youth with visual impairment. This training is part of the effort to expand and promote SRHR for youth with disabilities as they also have same needs like their non-disabled friends. The Principal of Zhemgang LSS, Mr. Sonam Wangchuk and a teacher of Darla MSS, Ms. Pabi Maya Das who have been trained on Life Skill Education are facilitating the training. A total of 23 staff (18 from Muenselling Institute and 5 from Khaling LSS) are attending the training which shall end on 15th December 2020. During the final day on 15th December 2020, a way forward will also be developed to draw up plans for the actual rollout of the program from 2021. This activity is supported by UNFPA Bhutan.