Sunday, September 18, 2011

High school health education in West Papua

On one of my work trips to Papua in 2009 we visited a community infrastructure site that was next to a school a few hours out of Manokwari. It was a weekend and there were no kids around, so we thought we'd take a look at the school grounds to see what the facilities were like.

We came across these colourful health education posters that I thought I should share. The first two are about the dangers of drugs and malaria - pretty standard fare - but the next ones we saw raised some eyebrows.

Click on the photos to see the higher-res versions.

Mainstream Papuan society is really very conservative so I was quite impressed to see such detailed and clear information on sexually transmitted diseases and such anatomically correct depictions of the reproductive systems of men and women.

My guess is that, in the face of Papua's growing HIV/AIDS problem, the community that the school serves recognises the need for clear and factual sex education. It would be interesting to know if this school is unique or if this sort of education is common throughout Papua. I'm sure the FPI would have such posters down and the teachers beaten up in a matter of days if they were put up in Java.

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