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Debate on sex education heats up again

A seminar on adoloscence education sees debates on the content of the sex education manual prescribed for teachers under AEP, report Stuti Shukla and Meenakshi Iyer.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2007 00:30 IST
Stuti Shukla and Meenakshi Iyer
Stuti Shukla and Meenakshi Iyer
Hindustan Times

A debate on the manner in which sex education needs to be imparted in schools continues to remain in focus.

A seminar on Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) was organised by Sadbhavna Sangh, Bombay Junior College Teachers Union, Students Islamic Organisation and other organisations at the Indian Merchant Chambers on Saturday.

Inaugurated by Justice (Retd) Chandrashekhar S Dharmadhikari, the seminar saw debates on the content of the sex education manual prescribed for teachers under AEP. The programme has been designed by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund and approved by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Psychiatrist Dr LR Khan highlighted the flaws and contradictions in the manual. He said: "The manual suggests that the use of a condom prevents transmission of sexually transmitted diseases but it fails to bring out the chances of the condom’s failure."

Dr Uma Tendolkar, additional project director, Mumbai District AIDS Control Society said: "5.7 million people in India are infected by HIV/ AIDS and 85 per cent of the cases are due to unprotected sexual intercourse. Hence, sex education is needed".

Dr Ashwini Bhalerao, chairman, adolescent health committee of The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Societies of India said: "Our organisation promotes sex education in schools that is essentially imparted by doctors and experts in the field. This ensures that the students are not misled by other incompetent sources."

Talking about the proposed suggestions, Prof Pratiba Naitthani, a social activist, pointed out: "We have proposed a revision in the present manual. Sex education should be legally, scientifically and morally approved."

First Published: Apr 28, 2007 22:36 IST