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HEALTH & FITNESS

Sex edu in schools may help in curbing sexual crimes against minors, say experts

| | New Delhi
Sex edu in schools may help in curbing sexual crimes against minors, say experts

The inclusion of sex education in school's curriculum will contribute to greater gender sensitisation and may help in curbing cases of sexual crimes against minors in the country, according to experts.         

Various academics and child rights' activists have been pitching for bringing sex education in schools in the backdrop of several cases of sexual offences being reported against children and minors from parts of the country.

Puja Marwah, CEO of Child Rights and You (CRY), said "Knowledge of sexual abuse helps the child, not only to identify the crime against them, but also to be able to report it and not think that they are at fault."

Dr Nand Kumar, professor in the department of psychiatry at the AIIMS here, also feels minors should be given sex education in their development age.

"Sex education is essential but with a modality. It will help in curbing incidents of sexual assualts on minors. It should be implemented for children who are of age 10 years and above, because that is the development age of a child," he told PTI.   

Kumar, however, said parents should also be active equally in educating their children as they grow physically and hormonally.

"Parents should also teach their children about good touch, bad touch, at right age, because children are curious to experience new things. And, without proper knowledge it can land them into wrong company or in a trap," he said.

Many members of the civil society groups and NGOs also feel that introducing sex education in a school curriculum could help build greater sensitisation among the youth as they advance towards adulthood.

"Sex education should be seen in a comprehensive manner; including the knowledge of self and others, about certain physiological and psychological changes associated with it. Though the mode of delivery and nature (quality and quantity) of the content may be age-specific, it is important for  children across all age-groups," Marwah said.

Elaborating on her point, she said, since a comprehensive sex education programme empowers a child with information about sex, sexuality and personal safety, it should be complemented with a "robust mechanism for reporting and redressal" of sexual abuse cases as well.

"And, large-scale improvement in the scenario can only be routed through government efforts," she said.

Sexual crimes against minors could be through immoral trafficking and sexual assaults by known or unknown persons. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 seeks to protect children from sexual offences.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) member (education), Priyank Kanoongo, said, "Instruction on sexual science in the educational system for  adolescents is an important matter."

"The purpose of sex education in adolescents should not be looked as a means of satisfying unresolved curiosity regarding this matter. Rather, it should be a means to generate enough sensitivity amongst the adolescents to understand and appreciate gender differences and act in a responsible and respectful manner to the opposite sex," the NCPCR member said.

He said such education in school's curriculum will contribute to better gender sensitisation.

"It is felt that such kind of education can best be imparted to children through teachers. For this, it is important that appropriate training of teachers is done on an ongoing basis. The NCPCR is spreading awareness amongst various stakeholders of society on the provisions of the said POCSO Act," Kanoongo said.

Queries sent on the subject matter to the Human Resources Development Ministry did not elicit any response.

"Lack of knowledge is one of the major factors for rise in case of assaults on minors in the country," said Prabhat Kumar, national thematic manager - child protection at Save the Children.

 

 
 
 
 
 

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