An educational organisation backed by right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas (SSUN)—believes that there is no need for sex education in schools or making it part of curriculum under the new education policy proposed by the Centre as it will have a negative impact on children. The organisation founded by educationist Dinanath Batra, instead, suggested "need-based counselling" for students and parents who want it, in a statement made on August 27.
SSUN secretary Atul Kothari told The Print, “There is no need for that (usage of the phrase ‘sex education’). Why should it be taught in schools? Things that students should be aware of in terms of physical structure etc. are already being taught through subjects like biology. However, counselling on a need basis can be done for the students.” He then went on to insinuate that every time sex education has been implemented, it has shown negative results. “The committee on petitions, composed of Rajya Sabha MPs, had decided sex education should not be taught in schools. Jahan laagu hua uska parinaam aap jaante hain kya hua (Wherever it was implemented, you know what the consequences of it were).”
In India, learning about the birds and the bees can be a conflicting experience. On one hand, there’s the uncomfortable coughing and red-faced stammering when one confronts elders and authorities. On the other, the prevalent attitudes towards sex are shaped by sexual morality and conservatism. But still, being the second most populated country that might even overtake China to be the most populous one within a decade, we’re obviously having a lot of sex. Couple the hypocritical approach to sex with the fact that India has registered a four-fold increase in the number of rapes against children between 1994 and 2016 and you see the glaring need for sex education from a young age.
The National Education Policy draft, which was given to Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in May this year, states that sex education will be included in secondary school studies on subjects like consent, respect for women, harassment safety, family planning, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. However, the SSUN object to the very usage of the word ‘sex’ and wants to Indianise the current education system. The organisation has also recommended a Vedic Shiksha/Bharatiya Shiksha board should be constituted, under which Sanskrit pathshalas and gurukuls (a type of education system in ancient India where students lived near or with the guru/teacher, in the same house) can exist.
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