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'Teach them young to keep them safe'

Despite the demand to ban sex education in schools, Delhi schools feel that children ought to know about sex for their own safety, reports Veenu Sandhu.
Hindustan Times | By Veenu Sandhu, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 22, 2007 01:53 AM IST

There has been a demand to ban sex education in schools altogether following the explicit exercises that Yuva, the new handbook on sex education, prescribes. But schools in Delhi say that while the manual needs to be reviewed, children ought to know about sex. The sooner, the better.

Even four-year-olds, it is felt, need to be aware of their body parts and know the difference between right touch and wrong touch. “If we can talk to children about their eyes and ears, why can’t we tell them about their private parts in a normal, natural way?” asks Dr Neena Gulabani, director, Anubhav Learning Centre.

A teacher from Tagore International School says sex education will also protect children from abuse. “Children must be made aware. But this education should be age-specific — subtle for smaller children and detailed for seniors,” says Gauri Ishwaran, principal, Sanskriti School.

Sarita Sharma, a teacher at Gyan Bharati School counters that given the level of exposure, it is better if children get their information on sex from parents or teachers. “They will at least make informed choices rather than mistakes,” says Ishwaran.
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