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No sex education in schools,leads to promiscuity: House panel

Sex education “promotes promiscuity”,there is “no justification” or need to teach HIV/AIDS to school children in the 14-18 age group.

Anubhuti Vishnoi & Teena Thackernew Delhi |
April 18, 2009 9:08:10 am

Sex education “promotes promiscuity”,there is “no justification” or need to teach HIV/AIDS to school children in the 14-18 age group,sex education “incites stimulation of instincts which is detrimental to society”,basic human “instincts like food,fear,greed,coitus etc need not be taught,rather control of these should be the subject of education”. With these remarks,the Committee on Petitions,comprising Rajya Sabha members and headed by BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu,has recommended that “there should be no sex education in schools” since “our country’s social and cultural ethos are such that sex education has absolutely no place in it”.

The committee,which deliberated on an August 2007 petition calling for a debate on implementation of sex education in schools,held its last meeting in March this year. It slammed the Human Resource Development Ministry’s Adult Education Programme (AEP),launched in 2005,as a “cleverly used euphemism whose real objective was to impart sex education in schools and promote promiscuity”.

The committee ruled that children must be given the message that sex before marriage is “immoral,unethical and unhealthy” and sex outside marriage is “against social ethos of the country and that consensual sex before 16 years amounts to rape”. Advocating “instinct control” and “dignity of restraint”,the committee called for a new curriculum to include material on lives and teaching of saints,spiritual leaders,freedom fighters and national heroes to “re-inculcate in children our national ideals and values which would also neutralize the impact of cultural invasion from various sources”.

Other than Venkaiah Naidu,the committee comprises Congress’s Vijay J Darda,Dharam Pal Sabharwal,Ram Chandra Khuntia,RJD’s Subhash Prasad Yadav,LJP’s Sabir Ali,CPM’s Shyamal Chakraborty,BJP’s Maya Singh and AIADMK’s N R Govindarajar.

While other committee members were unavailable for comment,Congress’s Ram Chandra Khuntia confirmed he had backed the recommendations. “I have not disagreed with the committee¿ that means I am in agreement with what it has decided,” Khuntia told The Indian Express.

Incidentally,among the “witnesses” who appeared before the committee on this issue was former CBI chief Joginder Singh who said that sex education would lead to a rise in incidents of rape and in crime in general; former Ambassador O P Gupta who was against sex education; former NCERT director J S Rajput — he was heading it when Murli Manohar Joshi was HRD Minister — who described sex education a “misadventure” that could disintegrate the family system; Dinanath Batra of Vidya Bharati and Shiksha Bachao Andolan who called it a “disastrous” move; former Ambassador Vidya Sagar Verma who feared that such education could lead to sexual harassment in classrooms by teachers or fellow students.

Objecting to the AEP focus on prevention of HIV through use of condoms,the committee said it found no credible survey or study to establish that school children in the 14-18 age group were a high-risk group and needed education on HIV prevention. It recommended that HIV/STD-related education should not be permitted before the 10+2 stage in the biology syllabus and frowned on the close involvement of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in framing this curriculum,saying this was the HRD Ministry’s job.

The committee said chapters on Naturopathy,Ayurveda,Unani and Yoga and moral values should be made integral parts of the syllabus to enable “total development of the child”. Chapters like “Physical and Mental Development in Adolescents” and “HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases” and related topics should be removed from the curriculum and incorporated in biology books only at the 10+2 stage.

Claiming that its members were highly embarrassed by “indecent” power point presentations on the AEP that the Delhi government brought out,the committee said it was shocked by the negative effect that such education would have on children.

Asked to comment on the recommendations,NACO secretary K Sujatha Rao said: “It’s a Ram Sene type of understanding. I cannot comment on the report as I have not read it. As far as sex education is concerned,it is very important. There is a lot of evidence that supports imparting life skills education. In fact,the 15-20 age group contributes about 30-35 per cent of the HIV epidemic. A study has been done by the Population Council which suggests that adolescents are at risk.”

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