by: Nyai Hj. Mahmudah Achmad

Is it taboo to talk about reproductive health and sexuality? For me, its not, also for the santri in Darul Aitam, the boarding school/pesantren we are managing. Since its establishment in 1991, number of santri currently is approximately 500 students, in educational institutions from early childhood education (PAUD), kindergarten, (excellent) junior high school, (excellent) madrasah tsanawiyah, (excellent) madrasah aliyah and (excellent) vocational school. 

In Darul Aitam education, santri get subject about reproductive health in the fiqh subject where among others are explained about baligh signs for women and men, also purification procedure. However, the explanation about reproductive health given is not too detailed and explicit. So does in the menstrual chapter. Santri got the lesson of menstrual chapter in Book of Minutes al-Mahidh, where like fiqh science, only study basic issue of reproduction, discussions about colors of blood, natures of blood, menstrual kinds, menstrual cycle, etc..

But in recent years, our boarding school has become one of the five pesantren in Banyuwangi that intensely involve in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Education (PKRS) program  accompanied by Rahima. Rahima conduct awareness and educate the teachers and students, santriwan and santriwati in various trainings and discussions both in the teacher forum and the student forum. The student forums become a place for students to gain knowledge and skills to become peer educators for teenagers. While the teacher forum plays an important role in integrating PKRS in accordance with teaching and learning process.

For students who have attended the training, they will share information and knowledge to santri friends who did not attend the training. This is done by holding seminars at junior and senior high school level, which is continuously in accordance with the knowledge that has been received by santri who participated in the training. This effort is done with an aim to find a cadre that can be invited to join in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Education (PKRS) Student Forum. One of the plans that emerged in the forum was the idea of establishing Center of Information and Counseling of Reproductive Health for Adolescents (PIK-KRR).

Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah alone), finally PIK-KRR consisting of 20 peer educators was formed and then inaugurated on Friday, November 28, 2014. The institution, called PIK-KRR As-Salam, held weekly discussions on various problems faced by students and teenagers in general, and look for a solution to the problem.

Adolescence is a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, this stage has not yet reached stage of mental and social maturity, so adolescents must face the most contradictory emotional and social pressures. Lots of life events will ultimately determine adult life and also quality of life of next generation, a period often seen as a critical. The increasingly accessible effect of global information has provoked children and adolescents to adapt health hazards such as smoking, alcoholic drinking, substance abuse and illicit injections.

This has a very powerful impact on reproductive organs of teenagers, as most teenagers do not have an accurate knowledge of reproductive health and sexuality and lack of access to reproductive health information and services. The parents’ ignorance of clear and right knowledge of their children’s changes is a problem for their children in obtaining proper explanations. Parents often still feel uncomfortable and reluctant to talk about the biological changes of children, and they have limited understanding of the children’s psychological condition. Various issues concerning reproductive health are considered unusual to be discussed, especially to adolescents. They worry that giving information will trigger their children to do things beyond boundaries. Adolescents always have a sense of curiosity on new things and the desire to try. This is basically the role and function of parents in guiding their children so they will not misdirected. Providing information that is delivered clearly and correctly, will reduce risks due to problems faced by adolescents today.

So t is very important to provide information through PKRS for children and adolescents, to prevent occurrence of abuse and acts of sexual violence to children. Teens need to know they alone are entitled to take decisions in guarding their bodies. Therefore reproductive health socialization through teacher and student forum is done in form of seminars in pesantren, discussion with youth mosque, as it has been done in Tegalsari Sub-district. There was discussion with IPNU (NU Student Association), as well as with schools outside pesantren in Atlanta, Banyuwangi.

Many changes begin to happen after the students participate in the training or after getting information from students who become peer educators. They increasingly have courage to provide information, they are more careful in maintaining health. The other santri also began to know dangers of drugs (Narcotics, Psychotropic, and other addictive substances), they also understand their body changes as well as various other things related to reproductive health and sexuality.

PKRS is better to be given to students comprehensively. PP Darul Aitam will be one of the five pesantren from Banyuwangi which will first apply PKRS module in the school education. This module is jointly compiled by participants of teacher and student forums which contents answer the needs of the santri and deepened with an Islamic perspective. This will facilitate students both in understanding and practice, as well as facilitate teachers in conveying to students the module they collate together. Currently, all parties have been waiting for the module to be printed, and ready to be applied to the students. May Allah SWT ease our steps. [] Nyai Hj. Mahmudah Achmad

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