Taking a big leap in spreading awareness about AIDS, the Andhra Pradesh government has introduced sex education in schools' curriculum to sensitise children on AIDS (Aquired Immmuno Deficiency Syndrome).
The State Education Department has sought the help of Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) to design a curriculum, which could be useful in imparting knowledge to the children in a proper scientific manner.
The objective behind introducing it in schools is to impart right knowledge to the kids and prevent them from looking at alternate and improper sources and end up getting improper knowledge on AIDS as sex education.
The subject has been included in the syllabus of standard XI and X students. The 16-hour syllabus imparts complete knowledge to the kids through a scientific approach in nearly 16,000 schools per year. Teenage pregnancy and safe sex are also some of the topics, which are highlighted in the curriculum.
"Parents don't have that kind of time and in urban scenario, there is peer pressure, there are TV channels, there are other channels where a child tends to get information which is not authentic, not scientific. So that's why school is the best place for a child to know about the subject, as a subject. When it is introduced as a subject, like any other subject, child comes to know about his body, how to respect it, how to value it," said Nirupama, Consultant, A.P. State Aids Control Society.
Meanwhile, the initiative to introduced sex education has also invited criticism from some quarters.
A section of people maintain their reservation on inclusion of sex education in school on the pretext that lack of properly trained teachers can ruin the very purpose of the programme. They say it may lead to leaving a wrong impression on the children's minds, instead of giving them right information.
"All the teachers whom you are selecting as resource person for this awareness, you have to cross check doubly, that really the teacher is a teacher, very importantly. The teacher should have that capacity and also the teacher need some orientation," said Ved Kumar, President, Forum For Better Hyderabad and Principal, Oxford School.
India, has at least 2.5 million HIV infected people among its 1.1 billion-plus population.