SSA plans orientation for boys on the lines of 'Kishori'

It is a novel step to help boys understand puberty, says official

Adolescence is a crucial stage in one’s life. As the child undergoes physical changes, it needs correct guidance and counseling to understand these changes and hence overcome inhibitions.

Sarava Shiksha Abhiyan started a novel initiative called 'Kishori', two years ago, to help girls understand the changes happening in their body.

However, this year, for the very first time, there are plans to hold orientation sessions for boys in government schools, to help them understand puberty.

"Organising orientation for girls is very common. However, orientation for boys is held very rarely. Holding sessions for boys as well as girls, with regard to changes due to puberty is equally important. Hence, Dakshina Kannada SSA is planning to include the orientation in this years curriculum," said Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Deputy Project Coordinator N Shivprakash.

The orientation for boys will be a one day event, unlike girls which is a three day event.

 As many as 22,469 boys studying in 6th, 7th and 8th std in government schools in the district will have the orientation in their respective schools from August.

The teachers will cover topics such as physical changes, methods to cope with the changes, importance of maintaining personal hygiene, inculcating good habits, harms of drug and alcohol uses etc.

Students will also be informed that they can approach their teachers for personal counseling, if needed, throughout the academic year, added Shivprakash.

Sarava Shiksha Abhiyan  prints two books, 'Kelu Kishori' and 'Bhaya Padabeda' for girls with regard to physical changes during puberty and methods to cope with it.
"We shall send a proposal to the government to print similar informative books for boys," he said.

'Understand         commonalities '

Gender Studies Expert Dr Rita Noronha pointed out that sessions for adolescents is extremely important as in many cases children get wrong information or information from wrong sources.

This can be damaging to their personalities. "Right information needs to be imparted in a meaningful way," she stressed.

Apart from information, there is a need to look into the gender identities children are conditioned to follow.

 Usually, in a patriarchal society, importance is given to male superiority and females are expected to be submissive.

 "At an young age, children need to understand there is more commonalities between gender groups than differences. Children should be taught to respect one another. There is a need to teach them positive thinking, said Dr  Noronha.

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