Sex education, a lesson in Bengal schools from 2015

From 2015 onwards, the state Boards — Secondary as well as Higher Secondary — have proposed to impart lessons on sex education to students in their affiliated schools across Bengal.

Muktinath Chatterjee, president of West Bengal Board of Higher Secondary Education, said the decision was taken a few days ago when they held a meeting with the officials of Council of Board of School Education in India (COBSE) in Delhi.

COBSE officials observed that there was a growing need for sex education as the current generation is affected by misinformation. Hence, it is important to make students aware of this aspect, said Chatterjee echoing the views of COBSE.

The Council of Boards of School Education in India (CBSE) and COBSE have proposed introducing sex education in Class X and Class 12 syllabi.

In West Bengal boards, sex education will not be a separate subject. Instead, it will be a chapter in the syllabus of education, psychology, sociology, besides science stream, said Chatterjee.

Suggestion from the experts of the syllabus committee will be taken to come up with a reframed syllabus. However, there will be no examination in sex education but it will be a compulsory subject.

There are still apprehensions about the implementation of this proposal.

Earlier, during the Left Front government, the state school education department tried to teach sex education under the name of lifestyle education. The attempt failed. The classes dedicated for the lifestyle education were either converted to Physical Training classes or sports class.

The board authorities are unsure about the spontaneity of the teachers at the co-ed schools in teaching sex education in the classroom.

Meanwhile, the proposal has been much appreciated by a large section of civil society.

Actress Rituparna Sengupta said: " It is a bold move by the boards as the adolescents need to be enlightened about the larger aspect. This would also help reduce the crime rate among the teenagers."

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