Panel moots sex education in secondary schools

The days are not far off for sex education becoming a reality in Karnataka if the State government accepted the recommendation of the Karnataka State Mental Health Task Force.

Task Force Chairman and eminent psychiatrist Dr K A Ashok Pai said here on Saturday that the Task Force has recommended introduction of sex education from Standard 9. He hoped the government would accept the recommendation as it will play an important role in bringing awareness among the youth and help reduce sexual crimes against women.

Stating that sex education will not be a mere showing of soft porn to children but scientific study of sexual aspects. It starts with gender identification followed by anatomy and physiology of genital organs, menstruation and other allied biological aspects. Dr Pai said the responsibility of framing syllabus for sex education has been entrusted to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science (Nimhans), Bangalore.

Only on paper

“Though the recommendation for introducing sex education in curriculum had been made in the past, it had remained on paper. Now, it has been revived. In the wake of increasing cases of rape, particularly the psychopathic sexual assaults such as rape of three-four year old girls, infants and old women, it has become imperative to sensitise the adolescents about sex matters through classroom teaching,” Dr Pai explained. He also underlined the need for making the rapists undergo psychological treatment.

According to Dr Pai, Karnataka now has improved in the mental health arena that had remained totally neglected hitherto. 

Financial assistance

It has been decided to start psychological treatment and rehabilitation units in all the districts under the District Mental Health Programme. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be given financial assistance to set up residential treatment care rehabilitation centres for which strategic and technical assistance will be provided by the government. Each NGO will be given Rs.1.60 lakh per month in advance.

Dr Pai disclosed that Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan has commended the mental health programmes of Karnataka and invited him for a discussion in New Delhi. “If all goes well, the Karnataka model of mental health programme may be extended to all over the country,” Dr Pai added.

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