Updated: May 28, 2019 4:58:40 pm
Bihar-based schools will now have a weekly class on the menstruation cycles. As soon as the schools open in July, each institute will have a class every Saturday on periods where students will be taught about correct ways to use sanitary napkins, hygiene, reproductive health, et al. These classes will, in the first phase of the project, will be conducted only for the female students in the senior secondary classes but in later phases, the project is expected to rope-in younger girls and moving on the plan of the Department of Education, Bihar is also to sensitise boys about puberty-related issues.
The project is being run under the Bihar State Project Education Council and Sarv Siksha Abhiyan. Talking to indianexpress.com, state programme officer, quality pedagogy, Kiran Kumari said, “The project is actually a convergence of already running government schemes including the Mukhyamantri Kishori Yojna under which the state provides Rs 300 per year to every female student from class 6 to class 12 (girls in the age of menstruation hygiene) and the other where girls students are given anaemia control medicines.”
She adds, “Under the previous modes, we were not sure whether or not the money allotted to girls is actually being utilised to buy sanitary napkins or not. Also, female students do not talk about the issue, there are many who still are not sure about proper hygiene practices. This scheme will not only train the girls but also provide them with a platform to talk.”
Under the scheme, which is expected to affect over 6000 schools, at least one female teacher from every school is being trained by master trainers. Four teachers from each district were chosen as a master trainer who will further train teachers in their districts. Kumari informed that the process of training master teachers was completed in April and now every school has at least one trained staff. “When we started the project many teachers informed us that they also did not feel comfortable discussing menstruation among themselves and the project has made them open up. This is a positive change and we are looking forward to initiating a healthy conversation around the same.”
“Girls feel scared about their monthly cycles, they do not even discuss it with their parents. There are many myths that are still prevalent in society about these. Girls often drop out of schools during the days as they still use cloth and even sawdust etc and hence do not feel comfortable in school. This might decline the drop-out and absentee ration as well,” she adds. Under the project, female students will also be taught about how to make their own sanitary napkins.
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