About 150 teachers and other academics yesterday took some of their first formal lessons in how to give sex education to teenagers. The move follows the introduction of a sex education textbook to middle schools in Heilongjiang province this year. The Ministry of Education is encouraging schools elsewhere to give sex education lessons similar to those in Britain and other Western countries. Teachers from Beijing middle schools and colleges were sent to the sex education conference organised by the British Embassy and two local groups. The three-day conference largely covers ways to broach the subject without encouraging children to have sex at an early age. The Chinese Government has long allowed sex education in schools, but few included it in the curriculum, said Hu Peicheng, secretary-general of the Sexology Association of China. He said the problem was the lack of qualified teachers. Mainland education authorities say Chinese teenagers are becoming more sexually curious but have little basic knowledge. Fifty-three per cent of adolescents learn about sex from the media and 17 per cent from classmates.