Over 4,000 Transition Year (TY) students from 52 schools are to take part in a new project aimed at helping teenagers to learn about sexual and reproductive health as part of a collaboration by the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) and the Rotunda Hospital.
Students from 20 counties across the country will partake in the 'Debunking the Myths' programme, designed to "help teenagers learn more about these topics by stimulating open discussion and curiosity while providing clear and reliable information in a non-biased a non-judgemental way".
The live and interactive workshops will be delivered by healthcare workers, including Obstetrics and Gynaecology consultants and midwives based at the Rotunda Hospital, as well as Infectious Disease and Emergency Medicine specialists, GPs and psychologists.
Students will be able to attend the programme, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland and the Rotunda Foundation, both in-person and virtually.
The classes, which will run from October to March, will cover topics directly in line with the Government's Women's Health Action Plan 2022-2023 and the Relationship Sexual Education (RSE) curriculum; including the HPV vaccine, contraception, menstruation, STI prevention and fertility.
Master of the Rotunda Hospital and programme lead, Professor Fergal Malone said they are delighted to have over 4,000 students on-board so far.
"The ability for our experts to engage with young people virtually has revolutionised the programme and allows us to offer this programme to schools beyond Dublin.
"Young people are more online than ever, and we need to ensure that the information they receive is factual, relevant, and most of all, safe," Prof Malone added.