Relationships and Sex Education (RE & RSE) – How does it impact Muslim children?
What does the new compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RE & RSE) mean for your child?
Will this affect your child’s Islamic ethos and values?
Will this impact your child’s Muslim identity?
The Government has made Relationships and Sex Education (RE & RSE) mandatory in primary and secondary schools. Children as young as 4 years of age will be taught Relationships Education in primary schools. It is compulsory, so parents cannot withdraw their children. In secondary schools, children will be taught Relationships and Sex Education. It is compulsory for children to attend the Relationships Education part and parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw their children from the Sex Education part.
The Government expects schools to start teaching the compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RE & RSE) subjects from as early as September 2019, and no later than September 2020. This could present challenges for Muslims, in particular children. The situation will require strategic leadership within Muslim communities. In addition, practical steps will need to be taken in a sensitive and measured way, such that the whole community can work collectively with schools to protect children’s wellbeing.
Raising Muslim children
The Quran sets clear guidelines concerning the institution of marriage, as sanctioned by the religion of Islam. Muslims are expected to adhere to and follow Allah’s (God’s) commands to achieve His pleasure, happiness and success in this world and ultimately Paradise in the afterlife.
“..He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquillity and contentment with each other..”(30:21)
“..He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)..”(30:21)
In Islam the institution of marriage is very important. The religion emphasises this and expects its followers to practice this aspect of the faith very seriously. It is the most influential social organisation and impacts the wellbeing of its members. It plays a crucial role in shaping the life of individuals as well as the whole of society. Islam gives great importance to the institution of marriage because of its far reaching impact. In Islam, marriage is considered to be the most blessed relationship among human beings. IslamicRSE strives to engage with Muslim communities to help guide Muslim children understand the importance of marriage and prevent them from forming sexual relationships outside of marriage.
IslamicRSE works in collaboration with Muslim communities, as well as educational institutions, other faith groups and voluntary organisations regarding compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RE & RSE). It provides training to schools, parents, Imams, Islamic school teachers as well as mosque leaders to support Muslim children. It also offers age-appropriate relationships education to young Muslim children within an Islamic context, in a sensitive way. A range of seminars and workshops are offered to members of Muslim communities in an effort to support Muslim children, young people and schools. In short, it is a duty upon all of us to work together in our children’s best interest, to protect their innocence and wellbeing in order to lead happy, faithful and fulfilling lives.