HOW CAN SCHOOLS HELP ADOLESCENTS THROUGH PUBERTY?
Some African parents depend on schools to teach their children about puberty. Likewise, some schools assume their pupils have been taught about puberty at home and do not prioritize it. A combination of these two scenarios lead to teenagers stumbling into puberty with little or no knowledge about it. This lack of knowledge leads to panic, fear, false information, risky behaviour, poor decision-making etc.
Both parents and schools have a role to play in preparing the children under their care for this important phase in their life.
1. Have a session with boys and girls separately during their final year in primary school. This will make them informed early enough to prevent early bloomers who know nothing about puberty.
2. Develop a good Sex Education Programme (SEP) broken down into curricula for each class with appropriate content for each age group. So the pupils gets appropriate sex education from the first to the final year in secondary school.
3. Ensure the SEP includes learning about the body, relationships, feelings and attitudes, keeping safe and looking after one’s sexual health, all of which link with puberty.
4. Have a creative approach to teaching about puberty that’ll cover the social and emotional aspects as well.
5. Ensure there are appropriate facilities for menstruation management.
6. Refer students who may be having a hard time with puberty to the counselor or the nurse. Each student will react differently to puberty and sometimes it may be too sensitive for teachers to handle.
7. Teach about leadership, character, decision-making, peer pressure etc. This will build the confidence of the pupils and empower them to make right choices.
If you need help with developing SEP curriculum for your school, kindly contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or @email@example.com