School teachers in Lucknow have reacted strongly against a new syllabus book incorporating sex education, by burning its copies.
The protest comes even as the State Government issued an order asking the books be recalled, until the 'offensive' portions are amended, following earlier protests by various sections over what is being called as 'sexually explicit' text.
Agitated teachers protested outside the state education board office here yesterday, saying the books were still in circulation and could corrupt or 'wrongly influence' young and budding minds.
'They have not taken any action. They are not taking action against the booksellers. The books are available in the market and the children are buying them. If July goes by, then the children will purchase all the books, they will not be able to return the books. We will continue with our agitation,' said R. P. Mishra, President of the Middle School Teachers Association, adding that they had pledged not to teach the 'embarrassing text'.
Moves to bring sex out of the closet in the country have kicked up a morality debate between educators, who say sex education will reduce HIV rates, and critics, who fear it will corrupt young minds.
The governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have banned sex education in public schools because they say the learning modules are too explicit, and some pictures are too graphic. Kerala and Karnataka are also considering bans.