News

University Grants Commission and UNFPA empower youth through access to reproductive health information

21 June 2017

Colombo, 21 June 2017: 1 in 4 people in Sri Lanka are between the ages of 15 and 29 years. This is a critical period in life for youth to develop accurate knowledge and attitudes on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

According to the National Youth Health Survey 2012-13, over 50% of Sri Lankan youth are unaware about sexual and reproductive health issues. Having access to comprehensive reproductive health education helps empower youth to fulfil their fullest potential and to become more productive members of society.

Road to Adulthood is a self-learning online tool that prepares youth in the transition from adolescence to adulthood – a time when sexuality and relationships are challenging. The interactive e-course consists of six modules:

1) Sexuality and Gender

2) Reproductive System

 3) Contraception

 4) Sexually Transmitted Infections

 5) HIV/AIDS

 6) Drug Abuse

Road to Adulthood, was first developed in 2012 in CD format by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura under the patronage of the University Grants Commission, in partnership with Y-PEER and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Recognizing the importance of reproductive health education, the University Grants Commission issued a circular in September 2016, instructing all Universities in Sri Lanka to include Road to Adulthood as an e-module in orientation programmes. In order to ensure wider access to the e-module, UNFPA recently supported the University Grants Commission to migrate the content to the website www.roadtoadulthood.lk

Launching the website, Professor Mohan de Silva, Chairman of the University Grants Commission in Sri Lanka said: “It is of utmost importance to ensure that students are empowered to make the right decisions and choices in regard to their reproductive health. I encourage all universities to include this e-course as part of the new entrants’ programme to ensure that we develop full-rounded individuals at all universities in Sri Lanka.”

Ms. Ritsu Nacken, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka said, “While the e-course was initially developed for university students, the launch of this website enables anyone aged 18 years or above to access this wealth of information. UNFPA is committed to ensure that all Sri Lankan youth fulfil their fullest potential, and this begins by youth being empowered to make informed decisions about their body and life.”