The controversy on sex education for school children has taken a new turn. The Siksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has warned teachers that they may be violating the law if they take sex to the classroom.
In a letter to teachers across the country, they have noted that teachers can be charged under Section 354 of the IPC for outraging modesty of a woman, if they follow the exercises prescribed in the UNICEF training manual on sex education in their classrooms.
Among the exercises is one in which a girl and a boy are asked to shut their eyes and touch each other’s private parts. It is apparently an attempt to help students understand biological differences between men and women. “The teacher may plead that he has sought volunteers, but in matters of sex and touching/fondling with private parts, the consent of a minor in the eyes of law is no consent,” the letter said.
Dinanath Batra, the samiti’s national convenor, said teachers choosing to impart sex education do so at their own peril.
But human resource development ministry officials said the sex education module would be reviewed in consultation with the National AIDS Control Organisation, and all objections considered.