No safe sex, condoms in books

In a country where 16 per cent of pregnancies include teenage girls and where sex education is still considered as a "taboo" to be mentioned in school curriculum, experts have decided to play it safe this time by deleting words like "condom" and "safe sex" from textbooks on the issue. Instead, it will be through "faithful to one’s partner" and "abstinence" that students will be educated on the issue of sex education. And there will be not many illustrations and drawings on the issue in the new curriculum.

The revised module by National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) will have no mention of condom or safe sex on life-skill education programme and will focus on aspirations of youngsters. To achieve this, Naco is holding a meeting with NCERT to chalk out a revised syllabus, dealing with sex education. After meeting with NCERT, secretaries of all states will be consulted, followed with consultations with teachers and parents.

The Asian Age

"There should be no hypocrisy on the subject," said director-general, Naco, Sujatha Rao during the meet on Response to HIV/AIDS: Forging Partnership with the Media. She said revised module will be adopted after intensive consultations with all partners, including parents and teachers. The revised module will be available for public scrutiny and workshops will be held in various places. Naco has undertaken a series of consultations, involving conservative as well as progressive people and groups before finalising the module.

The decision to introduce sex education in country’s schools was aimed primarily at creating awareness about HIV/AIDS since 2.5 million people in the country suffer from the disease. However, the module created a furore when educationists themselves turned against the programme. After states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka banned it, NACO formed a committee last year to make a new module.

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