Today morning’s paper carried the news of sexual violence in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Chennai. Being an Alumni from KV, I am upset about such an incident happening at KV. I have written a bit more on this topic here at Chennai Metblog.
While on the topic, I read another news on the topic of Sex and School. The national heroes at HRD ministry just stepped in to beep-and-blur stuff in the textbooks of the new curriculum that covered the subject of Sex Education. Now, let me get this straight. A couple of years ago, when the DPS scandal surfaced, the public and the media were all blaming the educational system that children does not have a proper training mechanism on this sensitive topic. Now, when finally sex education was included in the syllabus, they want to interfere and edit stuff?
New Delhi: It’s the middle path between abstinence and an orgy. Or rather lets talk about sex but omit the birds and the bees. The HRD Ministry seems to think its possible. It is toning down the content of its adolescence education programme after it ran into trouble with four states. Topics like arousal, masturbation, ejaculation, intercourse and teenage pregnancy have been deleted from the teacher’s manual. Also gone are the diagrams and posters that was the cause of uproar.”This was felt that for the time being that anything that is important to the children, should also be taking into account the cultural sensitivities,” says NAEP, Committee Member, Jeetandra Nagpal. The programme, currently being field tested in 7,000 schools across the country, isn’t all about sex. It deals with topics as diverse as drug abuse and facial hair. Strong reactions from teachers, especially in Punjab and UP have prompted the Board to water down the handbook. The revised version is to ensure that the entire programme is not scrapped.
My question to the folks at the HRD is – Why would you want to do this? What are you protecting the kids from? Do you honestly believe that they have no other source to learn about sex? Wake up, my friends! This is a different world! Gone are the days, when you had to depend on those roadside book vendors to get a torn of copy of debonair or playboy. Gone are the days when someone always knew this “some guy” who had lots of porn booklets stashed away somewhere and you have meet him in the alley and pay from your ration of pocket money to get that book.
Today, the internet is available at almost every city and even in some villages in India. Kids have access to a plethora of information that can be classified as good, bad and ugly. And for kids, they will be more interested in the bad and ugly mostly. Along with this creeps in a lot of misinformation and myths. Giving the wrong impressions to kids.
Today, sex is a subject of Taboo in India and I really fail to understand why. Every religion on earth has its share of sexuality in it. And India being the land where Kamasutra was written, had got a lot more to do with sex. Then, why is it that Indian kids are amongst those in the world who have very little factual knowledge on the subject?
So, whats the harm in approaching in a scientific manner what they already know? Whats wrong in telling them the facts so that if they ever are in doubt, they have some authority in the school that they can talk to. And their most easiest source of sexual knowledge – the internet, teaches them everything about sex. Covering advanced topics from the how-to questions to some very weird and bizzare acts. It teaches them the pleasure angle of sex. But, it does not teach them about the health angle of it. It doesn’t teach about protection. It doesnt talk about diseases other than AIDS. So, why not teach the kids about them. Why would you want to let them be wrongly informed and get into trouble instead of teaching them whats right?
Why do you want to teach an 10th grade kid about bhor’s atomic model and kirchoff’s law which may be useful to the children only if they pursue a career in chemistry or physics. And why deny them the factual knowledge of something that most of them are going to find useful no matter what? (No pun intended! )
All the same, I have to agree with Mr. Singhal when says “A 10-year-old can also learn to make a bomb on the Internet. But that doesn’t mean we teach him to do that.” 😀
The BJP is constantly saying that sex education will lead create an immoral society, will lead to single parenthood, and other moral problems. But what is the problem with those, which are only descriptive words?
“The problem is at what age are these words given to children,” said Singhal.
When told that in an age of Internet and mass media, a child can get them online, Singhal remarked, “A 10-year-old can also learn to make a bomb on the Internet. But that doesn’t mean we teach him to do that.” He felt the best way of imparting sex education is from a mother to a daughter and from a father to a son.