SEXUAL AND HEALTH CARE EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS

SEXUAL AND HEALTH CARE EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS

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Charu Rathore started this petition to Hon'ble Prime Minister (Prime Minister, India) and

Young boys in India, mature and develop in a male dominated environment, with little or no Sexual education and in rural areas, with very little or even no contact with female peers after puberty leading to misdirected masculinity, characterized by male sexual dominance and unequal behavior which eventually leads to men and young boys not understanding the concept of consent. Lack of sexual and health care education mostly ends up in sexual violence like rapes, murders, sexual assault and harassment. In the sensitive age of puberty, young boys and girls are filled with curiosity but since sexual & health care education and gender-sensitive courses are not part of education curriculum in India and further even parents don’t consider it as an important topic to be discussed with kids, hence young children end up in getting information either from internet or from their peers which is inaccurate leading to further problems. Topics like sexuality, consent, mutual respect, gender identity, gender equality, etc are equally important as other academic subjects for all round development of child in terms of physical and mental abilities as enshrined in section 29 of the Right to Education Act, 2009 but these topics are profoundly neglected by schools, educational institutions and trusted guardians of kids in India which is why our country is in a great need of comprehensive sexuality sexual education or modules focusing on sexual violence and exploitation awareness. Such courses will not only help in preventing sexual abuse but also help in prevention of sexually transmitted diseases/infections and will spread knowledge regarding health and hygiene.

A comprehensive curriculum-based sexual and health care module, such as International technical guidance on sexuality education launched by UNESCO in 2018 can be added to the new education policy which can help young children to understand their bodies and age-related changes better. Children can also be taught by such courses about concept of consent, respecting each others’ personal space, gender identity, etc. This in turn will allow them to recognize abuse and how to protect themselves.

Furthermore it is also very important to train educators who will volunteer to discuss these issues and courses in educational institutions. Teachers need to be taught what to say, how to say and how much to say otherwise it will become impossible to implement such courses in academic curriculum at ground level.

There is an inherent tendency to assume that sexual and health care education might “corrupt” young minds but a lot of studies shows that  introducing such subjects at early stage of life have a positive and healthy effect on an individual’s personality in the long-run.

Therefore building on this momentum, sexual and health care education must now be positioned as an area of learning and not intervention and should be included in the new education policy,2020 and all the schools should be directed to include this subject as a part of the school curriculum and proper training should be provided to teachers who will deal with the subject. This will be a crucial step in battling against sexual abuse in the Indian Society and shape up the minds of children in a positive and healthy manner.

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