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Ponton Group position against the new core curriculum of the subject Preparation for Family Life

 

Ponton Sex Educators Group

ul. Nowolipie 13/15, 00-150 Warszawa

tel./fax: 022 635 93 95; 022 887 81 40

info@ponton.org.pl

 

                                                                                                          Warsaw, 18 July 2017

 

 

Ponton Sex Educators Group position against the new core curriculum 

of the subject Preparation for Family Life

 

The new program of Preparation for Family Life[1] evokes so many emotions that it is worth taking a while to look at its content. Content that seems to contradict itself.

The Preparation for Family Life subject will be implemented from September 1st in elementary school in grades IV-VIII, in the first-level professional school, in grades I-III of the general secondary school and in grades I-III of the technical school[2].

The core curriculum was divided into 6 parts (family, maturation, human sexuality, life as fundamental value, fertility, attitudes). Authors pay great attention to shaping correct attitudes, respect for other people, shaping dialogue and listening skills (page 10, points 1-7). They do not hide the inspiration of the thought of John Paul II, whose quotes appear in several places of the document. Deep philosophical justification, to which they refer, in practice, means that the correct attitude is only one, and revolves around the word family, of course, understood in a certain way. The student learns about the criteria for choosing a spouse, motives for marriage, types of families (multiple generations, full, incomplete, reconstructed), and a lot of skills related to the functioning in the family (among others, learn to celebrate Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandfather/Grandmother's Day and savoir vivre rules).

The Family section contains 13 points and is the most extensive part of the program.

Throughout the document (along with a commentary to the curriculum) the word family appears in various variants and variants 173 times. The word sex appears twice, as cybersex and sex addiction (sexuality is a bit more, but unfortunately mainly in the titles of textbooks cited in the footnotes). Contraception is mentioned 5 times, each time opposed to natural family planning methods, and it's actually equated abortion (student must be able to" separate fertility recognition methods known as natural family planning (NPR) from contraception, abortive measures, abortion and sterilization", p.23)

The section on human sexuality is primarily about feelings and emotions. The student has to use concepts such as masculinity, femininity, gender complementary cooperation, love, value, marriage, parenthood. Sex can take place only in marriage, and the student "can exchange biomedical, psychological, social and moral arguments for sexual initiation in marriage" (p. 12). One of the sections is devoted to fertility and the information contained therein includes prophylaxis and treatment of infertility, and the student, in addition to "defining the concept of contraception and listing its types, evaluates the use of particular contraceptives in the medical, psychological, ecological, economic, And moral "(p. 13, point V, subsection 5).

Despite the presence in the program of points such as human sexuality or puberty, the whole is centered around pre-imposed values, there is no room for discussion or openness in accepting other life paths than marriage and sex for procreation. Gender identities are embedded in a similarly ideological way - only two identities (male and female) are allowed, and the emphasis is on enhancing and deepening the differences between them. The authors not only promote the only legitimate vision of what a healthy society should look like (based on family and values strongly linked to the Catholic worldview), but they also leave no room for people who do not fit in the scheme.

It is also worth noting that the authors of the program probably do not fully realize the dangers of the reality surrounding us, as evidenced by the point that the student "consciously and responsibly uses the means of social communication, including the Internet, selecting specific content while limiting the time spend on it "(p.14 p. 6, subsection 8). Thinking that after some Preparation for Family Life classes, a student will be able to impose a rigid rules of using the Internet and other means of social communication is extremely unrealistic and wishful. Especially considering the fact that during the Preparation for Family Life classes students will not be able to get a detailed knowledge about their sexuality  - where, in consequence will they be looking for such knowledge? On the Internet, where there is full of false or incomplete information, and access to virtually unlimited pornography.

The new core curriculum of Preparation for Family Life does not hide the fact that it is an attempt at the incarnation of Catholic morality at school level. We feel that it would be unfair to some students, because as far as you may agree with such morality and accept it, there is a part of the society has different views and vision of their own lives. About what the authors had apparently forgotten.

At the end it is worth noting that the participation of education classes for family life is not mandatory. In connection with the reform of education and the new core curriculum, we see this as a positive aspect. We appeal to students, parents, teachers, and educators to be mindful of and monitor what kind of Preparation for Family Life classes look like and what content is being passed on to them during these classes. In our opinion, in its current form, the core curriculum could adversely affect the life, and particularly the sexuality of  young people.

 

 

Agata Kozłowska

Translation: Katarzyna Sęk

 

The PDF version you can download here.

 

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