Elections, confirmed for November, will likely return Suu Kyi’s ruling administration to power.
But the USDP, after five years in the wilderness, aims to take a chunk from her majority and was quick to jump on the sex ed debate.
The party condemned the classes as encouragement for premarital sex, child rape, and the “arousal of sexual desire” among children.
The Ministry of Education denied this, telling reporters the curriculum had children’s rights and interests at its core and had been been carefully designed with expert advice.
All the teenagers AFP spoke to gave a resounding thumbs up to sex education classes, admitting they largely relied on Facebook and friends for information.
“I’ve only read about it online so it would be really useful,” said 16-year-old Yoon Shwe Bhon.
Aye Myat Thandar, 14, agreed, saying she knew “underage people already having sex”.
Women usually have the most to lose.
If single, an unplanned pregnancy can be devastating. They are often shunned by their family, school and community, with little chance of support from the father.
“Anyone who objects to these classes doesn’t live in reality,” says NLD MP and campaigner Phyu Phyu Thin.