Kerala has made a name for itself as a State which has achieved 99 percent literacy. It is now adding one more feather to its cap by introducing sex education in Catholic schools.
The Family Commission of Kerala Catholic Bishop's Council (KCBC) has decided to bring out its own textbook on sex education to be taught in the Catholic schools across Kerala.
The Family Commission took this decision after a meeting at the Pastoral Orientation Centre in Kochi recently.
While preparing the text book, many aspects will be kept in mind including HIV/AIDS and expertise of doctors, theologians, psychiatrists and teachers.
The book will concentrate on moral, spiritual and psychological education in a comprehensive way. "The book would look at the entire issue not only from a physiological perspective but also from psychological, spiritual and moral dimensions", said Fr Jose Kottayil, Secretary of KCBC Family Commission.
In the first instance, the text book will be introduced only in Kerala schools run by the Catholic management and later it will be used in other Catholic schools across India, Kottayil added.
The decision has been taken following the controversy over the sex education book which recently was introduced by the Kerala Government's Education Department in all the higher secondary schools.
The new book is expected to be published before March 2008 and will be available from next academic year.
Around 13,000 higher secondary schools are run by Catholics in India with over seven million students. The majority - 53 percent -- are from the Hindu community and 22 percent are Catholics and around 8.6 percent Muslims.
In India, Catholic management runs more than 14,539 educational institutions out of which 60 percent are in the villages and the rest 40 percent are in towns and cities.