By MAHTAB ALAM
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has taken a unilateral decision to introduce Sex Education (better to say Condomed Education) for school students from VI to XIIth in coming academic session (July 2007) in CBSE affiliated/recognized and Govt. funded schools. Thousands of schools Teachers, Resource persons, Experts have been trained and lakhs of rupees has been spent for this purpose
THE PROCLAIMED RAITIONALE
The proclaimed rationale for introducing Sex Education in the schools is to combat HIV-AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The proposed programme named as Adolescence and Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) has supposed to address the issues related to Nutrition, Health, Hygiene, Physical fitness and Mental health besides Drug-abuse, Reproductive and Sexual-health, Homosexuality, HIV-AIDS and STDs, etc. The topics will be covered through activity-based programmes. One of the arguments extended for introduction of Sex Education is that younger generation gets Incomplete, Confused and Unscientific Knowledge about Sex because the falling into bad company or reading pornographic literature or watching obscene movies. Hence, if it is taught as a subject in their schools, they will get Complete, Clear and Scientific knowledge.
PORNOGRAPHY IN THE NAME OF EDUCATION
Class VIth students will be taught all minute details of Condom usage including mock demonstration from the teachers using an actual Condom. Class VIIth students will be taught how to have “enjoyable sex” and how there is no “right age” to have sex. Class VIIIth students will have to write essays on topics like if there were no cloth for anybody, if there were no condoms and if the man had a uterus? Sex education lessons will now enacted by the students and teachers inside the class rooms. One of the new modules is about tackling molestations and sex abuse. This will require a group of students to perform molestation scenes whereby they will obsessively learn practical lessons dealing with the outrage. YUVA, handbook for teachers on ARSH prepared by the Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi in partnership with State Aids Control Society, Delhi legitimizes all types of vulgarities, shameful, unsocial, immoral and illegal acts and considers them myths. In regard of homosexuality the handbook suggests that “persons with homosexual preferences are perfect morally, physically and mentally. They are well adjusted in the society but societies may misunderstand them and discriminate against them. We need to be empathetic to persons with homosexual orientations.” (Page 289). This handbook also suggests that “masturbation and loss of semen is perfectly natural and harmless and considers it a method to release sexual tension or excitement.”(Page 122).Definition of Oral sex, Methods of using condoms, Precautions in regard of using condoms, Definition of sexual intercourse and sex, etc. are there. In fact it is full of pornographic materials. Since, I am afraid that if I quote few of them then my article itself may turn into a pornographic literature.
IS IT DIGNITY OF EDUCATION?
After having a glance at proposed syllabus of sex education one may ask some simple questions like if sex education is started in schools will not it desecrate the dignity of schools, teachers, and education itself? Will the students show the seriousness which this subject deserves? Will not the atmosphere in the class rooms be polluted by crooked laughter, jokes and indecent comments? Will not the attitude of the girl students to the boy students and boy students to the girl students be scornful? Will not it destroy the family values? Will not it create untimely curiosity, uncalled experimentation and uncontrolled madness for sex in child’s mind? And will immature minds be able to digest them? If answers and consequences are negative in nature and certainly negative in nature then is it dignity of education?
CONSEQUENCES: THE REAL LIFE INSTANCES
One real life example will illustrate how practically it will be difficult to implement the new-style Sex education programme in schools. Poonam Pandey, a Delhi University lecturer has a daughter attending class IX in a respectable public school. Her teacher told girl students to draw male sexual organs on black board. Poonam’s daughter was chided by the teacher for not drawing “larger” organ in front of the entire class, as she refused to do the same. Poonam’s complain regarding this incident was shrugged off by the school authorities who said that it was all the part of syllabus of sex education. Shri, a student of class X, was embarrassed even more than Poonam’s daughter by her male teacher. “Once in her class test they were asked to draw female private organ and while she was drawing her teacher took the copy and showed it to the entire class saying see what a beautiful diagram she has drawn.” I was embarrassed today she says. Priya, a ten year old girl, was alone in her room. She had two dolls with her, one male and the other female. She pressed together both the dolls, at the same time her mother entered in the room. Priya sternly told her mother; Mummy! Please go out, my dolls are having Sex. Vatsal, a class VIth standard student in Ahmadabad, he and his younger sister were at home. Vatsal made his sister undressed and started fondling her private parts. Suddenly the door opened and their father entered. On seeing what is happening, his father become wild with anger and slapped Vatsal 3-4 times. Vatsal was aghast. He asked;” Daddy! Why you are beating me? What wrong I have done? Father was shocked and asked, â€œwhat were you doing?â€? â€œThere is a chapter on reproductive system in my syllabus. Our teacher taught us in class. So, I am confirming that by exploring Pinky’s body parts, Vatsal replied.”
PEOPLE’s CHARGESHEET ON SEX EDUCATION
An overwhelming majority of Indian citizen especially midlle class are queasy about proposed subject and consider it straight shockingly, burdensome and unwanted subject. According to Dr. A.Kalanidhi, former VC of Anna University, Tamilnadu it is ‘the attempt to ape western educational system and cultural values.’ Instead of teaching Sex education, we should follow alternative methods, he suggests. Ranvir Singh, an NRI based at USA ,expressing his utter anger against this decision of Govt. in a Letter to Editor, Times of India dated 25 October 06 writes ‘Only shameless people can take such a decision. This action of Govt. will give birth to ‘Ravans’ in every household. The women of the country will not remain safe like West.’ Subhir Sirohi,a 15 year old student wonders on this decision and asked “Myself and my cousin sister study in the same class. To sit together in class on this subject is an acute embarrassment for me. How such subject can be taught in a school? Ruchira Trivedi, Principal, Noida based Karl Huber School puts her reaction in a way that- “It will mean Unnecessary putting virus in to children’s mind and diverting their attention from studies.” Kamal Grover, Whose daughter aged 10 and son aged 8 study in Ryan International Public School shared her views as “I can’t imagine, how educationist can even think of it. Instead of decreasing the burden of some unnecessary subjects, they are concentrating on vitiating the young minds. This will do more harm than help.” Above concern of the Student, Teacher, Parents, Educationist and common people of country clearly reveals that Govt.’s decision is how much Unilateral and Undemocratic.
Aping the western nations, the Indian Government has very anxious to start Sex-education in schools. However, it will be wiser to know what disaster it has wrecked there. UK introduced sex-education in 1973, now ‘teenage pregnancy’ has become a major headache over there. According to a report released on 16 Jan. 07 by National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, USA about 20 percent of adolescents have had sexual intercourse before their 15th birthday anniversary and one in seven of the experienced 14 years old girls has been pregnant in USA. In France, Govt. is forced to appoint nurses in schools for taking care of problems of teenagers indulging in sexual activities. France records 12,000 cases of unwanted pregnancy every year. Other countries in west have almost similar situation. It is quite surprising that, today when west is having a fresh look over Sex-education, Why our government is so anxious to introduce it? Do we want similar disaster like west?
COMBATING AIDS OR SERVING CORPORATE GODs
No one can deny that HIV-AIDS is very serious and fatal disease. However, compared to its real deadliness, the scare created appears to be more deadly. One should evaluate its deadliness in an impartial manner and with healthy state of mind. AIDS fear is created in manner to make a mountain out of mole-hill. As we know death due to AIDS is almost negligible in comparison of other fatal diseases prevailing in India. It seems to be a deep rooted selfish method of some people. Logical analysis reveals that- the vested interest are out to en-cash the scare of HIV for their selfish ends and it is projected many-times larger than it is. It also reveals that Sex-education will not benefit in combating HIV and STDs ,In contrast it will only aggravate. We have glaring examples of Britain, America, France and other western countries to prove it. Infact, there are some strong neo-Liberal, Imperialistic and Corporate forces, who initiated this idea and are supporting financially and organizationally. The deep rooted interest of these forces and their activism raise many doubts and fears because they are not giving prescription but aggravating it. In conclusion, it is a selfish ploy to create enormous ‘Market’ in India to dump contraceptives manufactured by MNCs, as they floated the idea and slogan “Whatever you wish, you have but use Condom.” The Government seems to have become the servant of “Corporate Gods” to establish their will. Here, one should remember a fact that Sex education syllabus not includes lessons not to have Immoral-sex & other real causes but advocates use of Contraceptives in the name of Safe Sex. This is where the selfish ends of Corporate-world lie.
TO COMBAT AIDS; WHAT IS NEEDED?
It is a necessary and welcome step, if Govt. wakes up and become active to combat AIDS & STDs. However, it is fundamental principle of medical science that Cure should not be harmful and painful than disease. And remedy which is in line with cause and the symptoms can only succeed in eradicating disease. The spread of HIV is not only because of Sex. It is also not due to ignorance about Sex but there are some other important factors which causes AIDS & STDs because Sex is natural urge arising at appropriate age in human life. If we examine causes in the context of Sex, the factors are (I) Uncontrolled Sex (II) Immoral Sex (III) Sex at inappropriate age and (IV) Unnatural Sex. As proposed Sex education is nothing to do with above mentioned reasons, Hence,it will increase the problem. To combat AIDS and STDs, what is needed, lessons of morality and to ban these form of Sex. If morality is sown in minds of new generation, the problem will be solved. What is needed administration of nectar whereas Govt. is taking steps to spread poison in the form of Sex-education, which is basically ‘Condomed Education.’ This should never be permitted and a strong resistance against this proposal must emanate from entire country. It is the ‘need of hour’ to “Say no to Condomed Education” and “Uphold the dignity of Education”.
(Writer is Convener of Students’ Affairs Cell, SIO Delhi and can be reached at [email protected])