The Sexual Health Centre’s new E-learning platform for those supporting the education of young people will be launched tomorrow (Wednesday, 9th December) by Minister for Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD. ‘WISE Online’ was created by Sexual Health Promotion Officers, Phil Corcoran and Muire O’Farrell of the Sexual Health Centre, to assist professionals in facilitating and responding to questions on sexual health and relationships from young people.
A major hurdle in effective sexual health education is the recorded discomfort in delivering the information – be it youth workers, teachers or parents. People have concerns about discussing topics like sexual identity, relationships and pornography with students, and more often they fear they will not be fully equipped with up to date and accurate information. This is a sentiment shared by many, including parents and carers. WISE Online was developed in response to these concerns.
The WISE (What; Information; Support; Engagement and Education) tool supports professionals in addressing questions and turning comments that may be flippant or uncomfortable into useful teaching moments. Phil Corcoran noted that “it is crucial that educators have a comprehensive toolkit so that they can deal with young peoples’ questions and concerns in an informed, inclusive and non-judgemental manner. Our hope is that when people have completed the WISE Online modules, they will feel more equipped, comfortable and confident when dealing with young peoples’ queries and delivering information relating to sexual health”.
The modules within the online platform can be completed at the participant’s pace in their own time. WISE Online participants will be presented with a series of questions and statements relating to relationships, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, pregnancy, gender and sexuality. The WISE tool is then applied to each question and statement, in order to equip educators with responses to young people’s queries.
Muire O Farrell highlighted the comprehensive nature of the platform and its utility for educators:
“Participants will be provided with a suite of resources relating to each topic in the form of text, images and video content. On completion of the modules, professionals will have access to a PowerPoint presentation to assist in their delivery of sexual health education with young people. They will also be provided with a facilitation guide and resources to support their programme delivery. As sexual health educators, we understand that it can be a daunting area for teachers and youth workers, so we encourage participants to get in touch with us if they need any support.
Derry O’Donovan, Deputy Principal of St. Brogan’s College in Bandon shared that they “were delighted to be selected to be the pilot school for the Sexual Health Centre’s WISE E-learning platform. We believe that access to education in the area of sexual health and well-being is an inherent right of every young person and it is core to their intrinsic development. The programme provides a roadmap with excellent resources so that educators can be confident that the manner in which they address issues is age appropriate, in line with NCCA guidelines and evidence based”.
The WISE E-learning platform is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It will be launched at the Firkin Crane in Cork city at 2.30pm with a panel discussion and demonstration of the platform. Free registration to join the launch via Zoom is available at www.eventbrite.ie/e/130567873023/. A recording of the launch event will be made available at www.sexualhealthcentre.com. For further information on the WISE programme, please contact the Sexual Health Centre at 021 427 6676 or [email protected].
Olivia Teahan (Communications Officer) – 0861381994 / [email protected]
Sexual Health Centre