Arshad, New Age Islam
last ten years or so, the issue of introducing sex education inschools has been
largely debated and a consensus has yet not been reached on the issue. In 2007,
the Indian government had launched sex education in schools but was opposed by
a large section of the intellectuals and religious organisations. Even some
political leaders had opposed it.
education was taken off from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The arguments
presented in favour of sex education were that it will create awareness about
sexual abuse of children and they will be aware of various problems relating to
puberty and diseases like HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
(STD). It will also help the adolescents
remove their misconceptions about the biological changes during puberty and
will help them cope with the psychological problems faced by them. But those
against it argued that sex education will expose them to sexual activity and
will promote promiscuity among them destroying cultural and religious values of
also lags behind in introducing sex education. In 2018, after a couple of
high-profile sex abuse cases, the Pakistan government decided to introduce sex
education in schools and prepared a draft booklet that would be included in the
school curriculum. But the plan is still to be realised.
Bangladesh, a conservative Muslim country has taken lead in this direction. Sex
education has been introduced in 350 schools in four districts. The
introduction of sex education in schools is a part of a project called
Generation Breakthrough. The sex education classes are called GEMS (Gender
Equity Movement in Schools). Students of class Vi to X have been receiving sex
education since 2014. The project was launched in 2014 for five years with the
financial assistance from international donor agencies. The Project Director of
Generation Breakthrough is Md Jahangir Hussain. He is very optimistic about the
success of the project as he says that guardians and teachers have accepted the
project very positively. However, he said that the projected faced resistance
from teachers, guardians and some organisation of Dhaka, But the schools in
rural and semi urban areas showed greater openness in accepting the project.
Currently, the Fazilatunnisa Government High School in Dhaka is running GEMS
classes successfully. Both the boys and
girls receive sex education together and discuss subjects like condom,
menstruation, sexual hygiene, nightfall and reproductive organs etc through
card and board game, computer illustrations and books.
striking fact of this development is that 5o madrasas have also joined this
movement and introduced sex education in their curriculum. Md. Jahangir Hussain
says that in fact, madrasas showed they were on the greener side on the topic
and they showed a greater maturity. This may not be surprising due to the fact
that the Quran and Hadith discuss sexual issues and so sex is not a taboo in
Islam though the religious community has made Muslims to believe that it is. The
Quran and Hadiths deal with sexual issues and the students and teachers of
madrasas are aware of the injunctions of the Quran and Hadith on the subject.
That’s why madrasas did not resist the project. In fact, the religious
atmosphere of madrasas will be better for sex education as the students and
teachers will not cross the line while discussing the subject.
phase of the project was for five years which has successfully ended in 2018.
Jahangir Hussain says that the second phase will start soon and another 200
schools will be brought under the project. He also said that the sex education
is imparted keeping in view the cultural values of the Muslim community. That’s
why the guardians have showed acceptance.
S. Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com
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