A NEW sex education programme for Catholic primary schools has been released designed to teach children in Ireland about relationships, sexuality and procreation.
The programme will be available in all Catholic schools around the country - which accounts for around 90% of them - and will be available to all senior infants.
It's understood however that these resources are not a mandatory requirement for any school curriculum, according to the Irish Times.
The programme, called 'Flourish', has been developed by the Irish Bishops' Conference for infants up to sixth class.
It describes sex and puberty as a "gift from God," and tells children that "we are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him."
In a section regarding safety and protection, it teaches children to say the 'Angel of God' prayer.
It also states that when discussing LGBT issues, the "Church's teaching in relation to marriage between a man and a woman cannot be omitted."
The new programme comes ahead of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA) updated syllabus for relationships and sexuality education. This updated course will apply to all primary schools, however schools are entitled to deliver these programmes according to their ethos.
Mick Barry, a Solidarity TD, said he doesn't see how the programme qualifies as appropriate sex education, arguing that children should simply be given objective facts on the matter.
"Religion shouldn’t have influence on relationships and sexuality education in schools," he said.
Atheist Ireland are dead against the programme, arguing that while a vast number of Irish families are religious, it would seriously hamper the options available to non-religious families.
"Why on earth would non-religious parents want their children taught moral and social values based on the supposed teachings of a god? There is no balancing of rights here, but the tightening of control to ensure that the Catholic Church can continue to evangelise and indoctrinate," it said, in a statement.