How many times have teachers heard their students ask, “When am I going to need to know this?” From trigonometry to the periodic table, there are many lessons we learn in school that don’t exactly pop up in real life. We spend hours, years, decades on homework for math and science class…but what about learning the simple equation of boy + girl? What about the finding the happy solution for love + family+ career?
A recent article in the New York Times revealed that Singapore — whose population is shrinking due to an alarmingly low birth rate — is now teaching just such a class. “Love Relations For Life: A Journey of Romance, Love and Sexuality” is a college course designed to teach students the art of finding and maintaining a romantic relationship. The goal is for Singapore’s “desirable” women to marry “desirable” men and populate the country with “desirable” children. It’s actually one of many programs designed by Singapore’s government to encourage educated young people to nurture relationships and have prosperous families as opposed to focusing only on career. From sponsored moonlight cruises to tea party dances, Singapore’s government has practically become a desperate mother, matching up her aging children and then constantly asking, “When will I have grandchildren?”
While the United States may not have a comparable population crisis, our high divorce rate doesn’t exactly suggest that we have it together in the relationship department. What kind of Love Ed, if any, should be offered in U.S. schools? Have you had any such class? What was it like? Did you at least do your homework?