Experiences and perception towards reproductive health education among secondary school teachers in South India

Nitin Joseph, Vaibhav Mahato, Akhil Pandey, Shikha Mishra, Garima Prakash, Rishika Gandhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Reproductive health education (RHE) is an important component of school curricula. It helps students in the decision-making process regarding several issues concerning reproductive health. However delivering RHE at schools is a difficult task for the teachers. Methods: This study was conducted to assess the experiences and perceptions towards reproductive health education (RHE) among 236 secondary school teachers in January 2019. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Only 21 (8.9%) were trained in RHE. Majority [179 (75.8%)] identified cultural barriers as the major challenge involved in its implementation. 95 (40.3%) teachers felt that the provision of sexual education as a part of RHE will promote pre-marital sexual activity among the students. Of the total, 185 (78.4%) had average while 51 (21.6%) participants had a good perception towards RHE. It was taught in only 3 (16.7%) out of the 18 schools surveyed. Only 11 (4.7%) participants felt that the availability of teaching aids to conduct RHE classes at their schools was adequate. Hardly 14 (5.9%) teachers had taken RHE classes for students. Among the rest, 135 (60.8%) expressed their willingness to take RHE classes with appropriate training. In multi variable analysis, participants aged ≤ 40 years (p = 0.031), those belonging to nuclear families (p = 0.013), and those who had taken classes in RHE (p = 0.037) had significantly good perception level towards RHE. Conclusions: Teachers therefore need to be trained and given more opportunities to take RHE sessions which will help improve their perception towards RHE. Schools need to be better equipped with resources and various perceived barriers need to be overcome before RHE can be successfully implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number175
JournalReproductive Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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