Lack of sex education in government schools make the students turn up to internet and Netflix for the knowledge.
By Batchu Rushali
Sex. As much as the word is tried to be kept hidden from children, the government schools in Bangalore work as hard to keep the sex education syllabus out of the class too.
Aarti, a student from class 9 said, “Our teachers simply avoid the subject. We are not taught about sex as the teachers are too conservative to talk about it. Hence, there is no awareness.”
Amidst the rising cases of abuses, harassment, teenage pregnancies and AIDS, there is a growing need for government schools to take up the initiative to educate children about their bodily changes and good or bad touch, but it is somehow ignored by the schools.
Srinidhi, a student of the government school in Attiguppe said, “The school didn’t take any initiative about sex education. We just had one chapter in class 10 and otherwise whatever we know is through the internet.”
Vajayanti, a science teacher from Government High School, Attiguppe, said, “We don’t particularly have any specific awareness programs under sex education but we have a chapter regarding the male and female reproductive organs. Recently, an NGO came to teach the girls regarding the menstruation cycle but other than that there’s no specific program for the students.”
The Ministry of Human Resource Development had come up with the sex education curriculum to create awareness among the students and avoid sexual harassment and abuse. The curriculum stated that government schools must impart knowledge about issues related to Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH).
Some of the school teachers hold the lack of content in syllabus responsible for the lack of sex education in schools.
“A government hospital recently came to teach the students about HIV and AIDS but there’s no prescribed syllabus for sex education to create awareness among students. It had been stopped earlier and for now, we just have a chapter in science, through which we teach them what is mentioned,” said a school teacher from government high school in Deepanjali Nagar.
As per Section 5A under theKarnataka Education Act, 1983, schools and educational institutions must make provisions to ensure safety and security of students including protection from sexual offences.
Dr Rachana Sathyadeva, Gynecologist in Bangalore, said, “If children are well-educated about adolescent issues, they can at least inform their parents. Proper sex education will give voice to children as they will speak when they feel odd about something.
“Children are often misguided about adolescent issues on the internet and social media. That’s why proper and open conversation and education can help students understand better.”
Vanaja, a science teacher in the Government high school, Magadi road said, “We have sex education included in our science subject as there is a chapter about reproductive systems in Biology. The students have limited knowledge about sex and menstruation cycle but don’t have in-depth knowledge. There is no specific hour allotted to give them sex education.”
“Along with their personal space and social media, schools should play an equally important role to create awareness among children as we see so many cases of sexual harassment and child abuse. Most girls have an idea about body changes and menstruation cycle but talking can help clear their doubts too. Even boys should be counselled about menstruation and other issues related to girls,” Dr Sathyadeva added.