'States can use NCERT books for sex education'

'States can use NCERT books for sex education'

 The state governments can take measures to impart sex education to students at schools functioning in their jurisdiction, the Centre suggested on Thursday.

For this, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed curriculum titled ‘Health and Physical Education’ for classes I to XII.

“This syllabus adequately deals with the process of growing up. With education being under concurrent list, the states and union territories have flexibility to adopt the syllabus and curriculum developed by the NCERT,” Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha told Rajya Sabha.

The minister was replying to a question asked by Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda.
A committee of experts, headed by former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian, had made elaborate recommendations on adolescent education in its draft report last year on evolution of a new education policy, according to official sources. However, the Human Resource Development Ministry made the committee condense its recommendations on the topic to just one sentence as it had objections to various points including the repeated use of word “sexual” in the original draft report.

The objections were raised during the last round of consultations with the ministry on finalisation of the committee’s report. Smriti Irani, who is now Union Textile Minister, then held charge of the HRD Ministry.

Kushwaha said the NCERT has developed a syllabus on Health and Physical Education in line with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of 2005, which noted that adolescence was a “critical period for the development of self-identity.”

“The NCERT under a National Population Education Project is implementing the adolescence education programme (AEP),” he said.

The AEP covers three major “concerns” – process of growing up during adolescence, HIV/AIDS and prevention of substance abuse.

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