Back in 2008 I was working in a private school in Aburoad (Rajasthan) when something really shocking happened: A few pages of the science textbook of a student were missing.
“What happened to those pages?”, I asked.
“Sir asked us to tear those pages”,
“All of you! But why?”, I was concerned.
“Yes, because that chapter deals with sexual health”.
I was reminded of it when something similar happened last week: A teacher’s demand for a resource person to deal with a similar chapter. Well, what are we trying to hide from our children? This inhibition on teachers’ part has every potential to inject unsafe understanding of sexuality in those little hearts. Whatever is available at the tip of the finger can be taken for granted by teens and young adults. In good old days, schools could skip taking about sexual health and well being, but today, if they do, it is at the nation’s peril.
Gender equality, to my mind, is one of the most misinterpreted terms these days. Some say gender equality is when women do everything that men do; some say it when women are at par with men; some say it is when men and women are accepted as they are. I am more in agreement with the last view. And I firmly believe that children must be educated not only about sexual health and well being, but also about gender differences.
Teachers (not just biology teachers), instead of running away from the realities of life, should face them. It is their responsibility to help little boys and girls to grow in to well informed, well mannered, ladies and gentlemen. Give children the freedom to ask you literally ‘anything’. If you don’t, they will try to find answers to their questions from dangerous sources; dangerous not just for them, but for those around them when they grow up.
There are concentrated, well conspired efforts from different quarters to ban sex education in schools. Our governments should not succumb to such clamouring. Every child has a right to know what is happening to his/her body even before the transformation begins. Proper sex education would help as a stress buster, where as lack of it would mount pressure on young minds.
By tearing off those pages on human sexuality from the text book, that teacher had successfully imparted the learning that sex is dirt, it is not even worthy to be on the pages of a book. I pity him. Does sex education simply mean that woman + man = baby? Absolutely “no”.
Should we still continue to allow our children to fill their hearts with filth gathered from unsafe sources or inform them what is what? What is your opinion?