Pilot project brings sex education back to Quebec

WATCH: Sexual education disappeared from Quebec curriculums in 2005, but now the government is launching a pilot project to bring sex ed classes back in schools. Caroline Plante reports.

QUEBEC CITY – Quebec is launching a pilot project to bring sex ed classes back in schools.

The Couillard government said starting in the fall, students from 15 different schools will receive between five and 15 hours of instruction.

The classes will be offered at both the elementary and high school levels.

Sex education classes in Quebec disappeared with the reform in 2005.

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Since then, Education Ministry sexologist Julie Pelletier said young people have been exposed to an increasing amount of information on the web, but it isn’t always accurate – and they’re often re-directed to pornography sites.

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Pelletier told Global News that time has shown there is a “very strong social consensus in Quebec” around the need for more sexual education.

She said she doesn’t expect a backlash like in Ontario, where parents held several demonstrations last winter against the new sex ed classes.

“We have a long history of sexual education in Quebec,” Pelletier said.

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At the elementary level, they will cover topics such as anatomy, sexual stereotypes and homophobia, while high school students will learn about new technology, pornography, the notion of consent, STDs and more.

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Healthcare authorities had been asking for more sex ed after they noticed the number of cases of chlamydia had jumped 55 per cent between 2005 and 2011.

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“In recent years, many groups have asked us to build a formal sex education curriculum,” said Pelletier.

Schools taking part in the pilot project will offer sex ed classes for two years.

Pelletier did not reveal the list of participating schools.

The province’s Education Ministry hopes to extend the classes to all schools after 2017.

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