Keep it simple

I cannot help but concur with the opening line of this news report:

If you cannot solve a problem, sweep it under the carpet!!!!!

This seems to be the policy of the Karnataka Government over the introduction of sex education in schools……Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has decided to “solve” the problem by scrapping the whole programme.

Its sad that our administrators do not feel the need to be bold and pathbreaking visionaries. Instead the path of least resistance is taken. What are the factors that impede such thinking, one never knows. Is it experience ( or lack of it?), information and its processing or bad advisors?

Having said that, its also my view that the subject- sex education – needs to be holistic enough to include information about sex and all issues sorrounding it – marriages / relationships, reproduction and birth control, STD’s, HIV & AIDs and that horror of horrors – sexual abuse. We are talking about children and young, impressionable minds. Also, in the light of the Nithari killings, information about what is sexual abuse and how to educate children to recognise it can/will enable action to be taken. If reports are to be believed, the perpetrators of sexual abuse on children are most often within the families!! Preventing children access to first hand information, in a learning atmosphere, about sex and the possibility of sexual abuse, as well as information about reproduction and disease, puts all children at risk. Forewarning is forearming. And, can anyone amongst us not admit to this being a high-risk age? To doomsayers, this is nothing but a prelude to Kalyug.

As parent of a pre-teen, we often worry about half-truths, lies, false information etc that will reach our child either knowingly or unknowingly which will distort his views. Curiosity lurks, for sure. What with the TOI promoting lasciviousness via its supplements, we’ve already been asked the question – what does ‘sexy’ mean?? Hmmm. Lets admit this fact – talking about sex is almost never done within the family. (Why, even parents are not willing to admit / accept that children would not have come about without them having sex.) It is also generally believed that, in the initial years at least, teachers have a far greater impact on children and their learning than parents. As such, it would have been ideal, or as a first step, to introduce sex education in schools. Of course, this is debateable. Many would like sex education to begin at home, like charity :)


the decision of the Government to look upon the very idea of adolescent education as “scandalous” speaks volumes about the lack of will to genuinely address the issue

The sane voice seems to be that of

Former Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor and psychologist M.S. Thimmappa feels that we need a “comprehensive” sex education programme that introduces the “delicate matter in a holistic manner” that includes psychological, sociological and spiritual dimensions

Perhaps its time for those in power to remember that, when in doubt, follow the K.I.S.S principle : Keep it Simple! Drive out the notion since you seem to be scandalised, that sex education has ANYTHING to do with Vatsyana!

Sex education is nothing but communication to / with children.

Isn’t that simple?


PS: Apart from our #1 ranking – debateable, though – as the most populous country in the world (if not with the most inept cricketers!), I’m amused to say that we hold the #1 spot here. Check it out!

PPS: Read this report on why ‘ India’s Maharashtra state has banned the introduction of sex education in schools after protests from legislators who say it will corrupt young minds.’ Oh, really? What about corruption in high places and it weakening the moral fibre of YOUNG MINDS?

5 Comments so far

  1. Chitra (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 8:39 am

    While I am all for sex education in schools and was amused to see how the government was running away from it, I was dis-heartened to see the reluctance of teachers to teach the subject. There have been numerous reports about the teachers’ reactions. That being the case, I would rather have my children hear it from me than some reluctant teacher who, in their discomfort, may not even end up conveying it right. Now, I woulnd’t want my kids to be taught wrong, especially about something as important as this!

  2. Sid (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    Let me give you the benefit of my experience of sex education in the US public schools.

    Sex education in the US is totally political. Different political groups struggle to control sex education – for example, homosexuals, fundamentalists, feminists. Local Boards of Education approve their local programs before they are taught in the classroom. In other words, whichever political group has the most local power shapes local sex education. In NY feminists and homosexuals control what is taught in the classroom. The result is that heterosexual men are depicted in the worst light and homosexuality is taught as a natural sexual alternative.

    Sex education is not just education in the biology of sex. Many political and social forces in the US see it as an opportunity to advocate and indoctrinate their choice in sexual behavior. Individual parents who are on the losing side of each local political debate have almost no say in what their children’s school teach. The choice is the school board’s, not the parents’.

  3. silkboard (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    That dig on cricketers – why drag them into every conversation !? Lets let them be Ravi :)

  4. lovebangalore (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    Actually I glanced through some news reports but don’t have clear information about the age/class/standard after which the sex education will be introduced.

    I feel this issue should get enough attention and schools should facilitate more discussions with the parents and provide feedback to the academicians. Once this is done there should be a proper debate among different decision making groups (for example: Academicians, Psychologists etc…).

    This may be a long process (should cap it at least at ~2years) but for a socially sensitive matters it may well be worth it.

    Again all the teachers should be well trained to handle it. Because bad education can make the solution worse than the problem itself.

    I live close to a college and notice these kids regularly. I am very convinced that the sex education is the need of hour.

    I believe politicians have no moral right to involve in this other than as parents of the kids. I believe this should be left to the little more educated (?!) and knowledgeable people.

    BTW, as a closing remark… My daughter who completed 3 years recently asked my wife why she was missing in our older Vacation pictures. But before my wife could answer she covered it by saying we were probably not married by then. Well, later I figured out this is a common question among the 3Yr old kids (Adults !?) these days.

  5. Ravi (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 1:34 am

    Thank you all for your reading & comments.

    @Chitra: I personally think that the subject cannot be taught/conveyed/communicated by school teachers. It has to be done by specialists…by which I mean somebody like counsellors?

    @Sid: Boy, that was eye-opening, to say the least. Thank you. Can’t help but wonder….

    @SB: Ok, Sir! :)

    @LoveBangalore: I agree with many of your comments. Politicians being what they are, its well nigh impossible to expect them to be far-sighted in these matters. You’re right – this matter is best left to professionals.
    Yes, we’ve heard that question as well!

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