Sex education has been withdrawn from the schools under the Uttar Pradesh Board. The state’s Director of Education passed an order to this effect. District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) Sushma Sharma said, “As per Uttar Pradesh Director Education Sanjay Mohan’s directions, we have stopped the Adolescent Education Programme and withdrawn study material from schools. Workbooks, too, have been taken back from teachers.”
“The UP Board of High School & Intermediate Education had introduced an Adolescent Education Programme for Class IX and X under Social Science, Sports and Physical Education. It was basically an AIDS programme which cannot be taught without educating students on sex,” said Sharma.
Most teachers are pleased with the development. “Teachers have heaved a sigh of relief. Those who had gone for training and were given workbooks for teaching were in a fix. They are still not mentally prepared to teach the subject as they felt that it would disturb the teacher-pupil relationship,” said Sharma.
Noida Sector 12 Inter College Principal Puran Singh said, “The government has taken the right step by withdrawing the sex education programme.”
Singh said sex education is essential for adolescents, but felt it cannot be imparted in Indian schools. “There should be a sex education channel on the Net. Interested students can log in and get the knowledge,” he said.
Some other teachers too favoured sex education. VK Gupta, who teaches biology at Noida Inter College, said: “The book which was supposed to be given to students under the School AIDS Education Programme has no objectionable material. Only the workbooks and maps meant for teachers have nude diagrams. Teachers can explain without diagrams too.”
There seems to be a gender divide, however. Most lady teachers had reservations over sex education. “I was afraid how I will be able to satisfy the inquisitive mind of students. Even now, several students get infatuated towards young teachers of the opposite sex. I shudder, thinking how students would behave once we openly discuss the subject with them,” said Neelima, a teacher. Students, too, were a divided lot.