Kolkata, 15 November
The rising incidence of rape and sexual molestation seems to have prompted the West Bengal government to take a fresh look at adolescent education imparted to students in government-run schools in the state.
This year onwards, instead of health workers, it would be school teachers who would take classes on lifestyle education for students in classes IX and X.
Earlier, it was the AIDS Prevention Control Society under the health department which imparted adolescent education in schools, including in classes IX and X.
Significantly, in the past decade, the threat posed by AIDS and concerns about adolescent reproductive and sexual health concerns (ARSH) led to the inclusion of adolescent education in school syllabi across the country.
However, due to various reasons, including apathy and resentment among teachers, it had lost steam in the recent past.
The education department had then left the task to the health department.
But now, a revival is on the cards. Apart from making them aware of the changes in their bodies, the programme will harp on social skills necessary for building “positive and healthy relationships with others, including peers of the opposite sex”.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has now taken up the task of training the teachers for imparting this one-time course to senior students.