New sex education module to stress on abstinence: NACO

July 28th, 2008 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Condom and safe sex are terms that will find no mention in the new sex education module being devised for school students in India. It will instead stress on abstinence, the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) announced Monday. NACO director-general Sujatha Rao said the module would be adopted after intensive consultations with all partners, including parents and teachers.

“There will be no mention of condom or safe sex in the revised module on life-skill education programme. But we will be focussing on the aspirations of the youngsters and will also talk about being faithful to one’s partner and abstinence. There should be no hypocrisy on the subject,” Rao told journalists at a meet on Response to HIV/AIDS: Forging Partnership with the Media.

The decision to introduce sex education in India’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.

One of the main objections was a flip chart prepared for teachers jointly by the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the government-controlled NACO.

Educationists themselves turned against the programme and 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.

After endless parleys, the committee managed to finalise a new tool kit that would not have any flip charts, Rao said.

NACO has undertaken a series of consultations, involving conservative as well as progressive people and groups before finalising the module.

“The youngsters need to get the right information. The children are growing in an unsafe environment. We have called a meeting of directors of NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) tomorrow (Tuesday) on the revised module,” she said.

The current module would not have too many illustrations and drawings. Having burnt its hands earlier, NACO said this time it would first send the module to each state education department for a feedback.

Rao said that after the meeting with NCERT, secretaries of all states would be consulted, followed with consultations with teachers and parents.

“The youngsters need education and we should not forget that 15 percent of all pregancies are those of teenagers,” Rao added.

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