NGO summoned by LHC over ‘sex education books’

Published: October 10, 2012
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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has summoned a representative of Bargad, a non-government organisation, for October 18 on a petition seeking action against the group and Education Department officials for handing out school books in Gujranwala that contain “objectionable material”.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the LHC issued this order on Tuesday on a petition filed by Muhammad Tanzeem Arif, a retired school teacher from the area.

The judge summoned the Bargad coordinator of the programme under which the books were distributed after hearing the statements of two former Gujranwala executive district officers for education on Tuesday.

Former EDO Ghazanfar Ali Sani told the court that while the books were circulated in schools during his tenure, the memorandum of understanding under which this was done was signed while Chaudhy Riaz was EDO.

Riaz confirmed this. He said that the memorandum was for the NGO to initiate a programme to teach “life skills” at schools.

According to the petitioner, the “objectionable” book  Ba Ikhtiar Larkian, Badla Hua Samaaj (Empowered Women, A Changed Society) – had been made mandatory for grades 6 to 8 at all government schools for girls in Gujranwala.

He said the book contained material telling girls about the use of contraceptives and “how to have friendships with boys”. He said in a Muslim society, sex education could not be taught at schools. He said that in signing the memorandum with the NGO, government officials were guilty of misconduct and should be punished.

He said that he had complained to government officials after learning about the book and the chief minister had set up an inquiry committee headed by Punjab Education Foundation Chairman Raja Anwar. He said the committee’s findings had not been made public.

He said that the only action apparently taken on the committee’s findings had been the transfer of Sani, the former EDO. He said that the inquiry report must be made public.

Former Gujranwala district coordination officer Nabeel Ahmed Awan, the serving DCO, the education secretary, the PEF chairman, and the Gujranwala EDO (education) are named as respondents in the petition.

Project finished

Bargad Executive Director Bushra Shaheen told The Express Tribune that the NGO had ended the project and disposed of the books shortly after Gujranwala citizens had raised objections to the content.

Sarmad Raza Naik, Bargad’s operations manager, said that the project was initiated in good faith and through the proper channels. He said that other books had also been provided to students under the project.

He said that the books in question had been handed out at schools in Sanghar district in Sindh too, but there had been no objections. He said that the inquiry committee set up by the chief minister had exonerated Bargad officials of wrongdoing.

He said that Bargad had been working with the Punjab government since 1997 and had most recently helped draft its new youth policy.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Talha
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:33AM

    What is wrong with our people? why are we so determined to live in ignorance & darkness? The books were good.Girls have a right to know about contraception,it’s their bodies and they should have control over how many children they want to have.As it is,our population has reached worrying levels.Keeping girls ingnorant helps the men keep them under their control,helps to keep them as their slaves.It’s high time women started taking control of their bodies and stopped letting men make the decisions about their lives.

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  • Oct 10, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Why to prolong the case un-necessarily? Do they have sufficient time?
    The presiding officer could study the text in his chamber and decided there and then. Afterall he is the one to have final say. Simple as that.

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  • janamhussain
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:21PM

    education is intolerable in muslim societies! keep them all thinking babies come from duas!

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  • Mj
    Oct 10, 2012 - 4:40PM

    Our courts have sadly become a bastion of ignorance and backwardness. They free self-proclaimed terrorists, delay decades old cases, and go after easy targets such as cinemas, actresses, and television channels.

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  • Shue
    Oct 10, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Extremely sad to hear how our nation wants to be ignorant of realities of life, women in interior punjab /sind do not have access to any other means, its a commendable effort by the NGO to teach them about their own bodies and about realities of life!! I do not understand why our authorities believe in keeping eyes shut !

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  • Yeah we want AIDS
    Oct 10, 2012 - 5:40PM

    silly people

    no sex ed = people risk of practicing unprotected sex which a proportion of the population is bound to engage in no matter what

    barbaric country… so glad my children will be not be paki citizens

    stone age status coming soon…

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  • Sid
    Oct 10, 2012 - 6:14PM

    motive of the NGO may be right but not the way/process. why they not maker mothers aware so that they can impart knowledge to their girls. After all this is not acceptable in our country and people should realize and respect it.

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  • Turbo Lover
    Oct 10, 2012 - 6:46PM

    Woo hoo! We are going back into the Stone Age! So proud of my Islamic Republic!Recommend

  • A2Z
    Oct 10, 2012 - 7:32PM

    Here you go…something for liberal fascists to bash the Pakistani society but fail to understand that sex education will not do any good but only harm. West is giving sex education and teenagers practice it. In TV programs they discuss whether under 18 should inform their parents/guardians before abortion. This should be enough to open eyes of pseudo-liberals that we should not follow west blindly.

    Instead of sex education why we cannot teach students that extramartial sex is not allowed in Islam and other religions. This will automatically eliminate the need of safe sex education and other material which is given in the above article.

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Oct 10, 2012 - 7:59PM

    Pakistan is a Muslim society, there should be no such education for girls and boys. On the other hand I would take this opportunity to admire thousands of local / secret abortion houses in almost all the metropolitan cities which are performing highly commendable work!

    man seriously???

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  • Zube
    Oct 10, 2012 - 8:19PM

    Lolz….
    That means have sex but be safe at the age of 12
    No diff b/w cats and dogs and even pigs and humans all r same
    So let me ask those who r in favor of this education and this book why don’t u give such education to u kids at home?Recommend

  • Abu Bakar
    Oct 10, 2012 - 8:40PM

    If you need to educate your girl, you better let her know and learn from real book that is our Holly Book Quran, i wonder why people always eager to comment when NGOs are spreading unethical and immoral so called knowledge. wark up guys though none of you wants to let his sister or daughter to learn how she gana have relation with aboy. Do you?

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  • anonymous
    Oct 10, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @Yeah we want AIDS:
    really, safe sex education promotes sexual activities more than safe sex…!!! u do really want ur kids to have sex at early life stage than usual…sex education should be taught by their respective parents, either way if u are really pro sex education promoter than u can check the rape statistics of Western civilized ppl….

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  • Lofted Shot
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:03PM

    Jaisi Awam waisay HukumRan. And then we question why we’re called 3rd World Country.

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  • Khurram Awan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:10PM

    @Sid: According to Islam it is allowed to marry a young girl as young as 7 year old given she is Baaligh. So what is wrong in educating the girls in schools when In Islamic societies the age of marriage or to become a mother starts from under 10 years of age and obviously this literature will help all these soon to mothers studying in Schools..

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  • Ali Ahsan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:11PM

    @A2Z:
    hey mard-e-momin,

    Iran since the 1980s has COMPULSORY sex education classes and contraception seminars that has allowed their insanely high birth rate to drop to more tolerable levels!

    So much for your “unislamic” ignorance!

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  • Ali Ahsan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:12PM

    ‘Iran’s government declared that “Islam favoured families with only two children”. Iran’s Health Ministry launched a nationwide campaign and introduced contraceptives – pills, condoms, IUDs, implants, tubal ligations, and vasectomies.

    In 1993, Iran’s Parliament passed further legislation withdrawing food coupons, paid maternity leave, and social welfare subsidies after the third child. Birth control classes were required before a couple could get married. Dozens of mobile teams were sent to remote parts of the country to offer free vasectomies and tubal ligations.

    By 2001, an Iranian condom factory produced more than 70 million condoms a year. That is how Iran achieved the fastest drop in birth rate that has ever been recorded.’

    http://dawn.com/2012/10/10/knowing-thy-enemy/Recommend

  • raza
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Brilliant. Lets not tell our children about contraceptives. Lets pretend sex doesnt happen. Lets just get married nonetheless and have no concept of birth control. Lets carry on with our population explosion so we can wipe ourselves out.

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:55PM

    The “Bahishti Zewer” or “Heavenly Jewellery / Ornaments” by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) is the best book in Urdu on female sex education in the light of Quran and Hadith. Mothers used to teach their young daughters about sex using the said book. It is also taught in madaressahs. If young people are not taught and guided by the elders at the right time they will indulge in self-experimentation leading to fatal incurable diseases and moral breakdown of character thus harming both their life here and in the hereafter. I leave it to the readers of ET to “express” in better words what i want to say.
    Regards.

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  • A2Z
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:18PM

    @Ali Ahsan…So according to you “Mard-e-Momin” is a derogatory word as you are trying to ridicule me. This is your level of thinking.

    They didn’t teach “how to have friendships with boys” but about birth control and these two are totally different things. Iran introduced sex education but not in the schools, it was required before the marriage of couple.

    Population control can be achieved by giving education about the problems of population growth. The “safe sex” and “how to have friendships with boys” will not help to achieve population control.

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  • Zube
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:02AM

    @A2Z:
    Well said a2z

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  • Doc
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:19AM

    Just saw the details of BARGAD they are backed by US…there is NO SUCH THING AS safe SEX in ISLAM…..everyone learns about sex n babies, you dont have to teach a 12 yr old…i havent seen anyone penetrating into walls cuz of ingnorance…SO please keep HAYA in society…women can have all this education before marriage BUT NOT AT THIS AGE 12 or 14….ASK BARGAD SOCIETY PEOPLE IF THEY TOLERATE their daughters having safe sex?????…PLEASE WAKE UP WE ARE UNDER ATTACK BY BESHEREM WEST…they have sex like animals..their are very few teenagers iv seen who is yet a virgin….LOTS OF ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN…DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD FOLLOW THEIR SYLLABUS???….EDUCATED PAKSTAN AND ISLAMIC SOCIETY IS WHAT WE CAN BE PROUD OF…IF YOU PAUSE AND THINK

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  • Sohail Khurshid
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:32AM

    “Sex education hamaray mazhab ke khalaaf hai” What the …? I wonder how much further our typical illiterate paindoo hypocrite sheeple can stoop!

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  • s
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:39AM

    I am absolutely shocked to read that such books were able to find their way to children without anyone stopping it, do we have any control? “badla hoa samaj” sounds like a translation of hindi to urdu.

    Again absolutely appalled to read that such books were distributed, LHC should order the closure of NGO ASAP. and I am sick and tired of western trying to influence our society.

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  • A2Z
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:04AM

    The number of visitors counter on Bargad website is funny. It increases with every single click on any link within their website…lols

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  • whab
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:51AM

    So women dont have right to know about contraceptives? Many girls are married at early age and this may be their only chance to know about contraceptives. Salute to highcourt judge who even accepted the petition.

    I belong from Gujranwala and understand the mentality of people here. This mentality has to be changed.

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  • whab
    Oct 11, 2012 - 5:00AM

    @Doc:
    you havent seen anyone penetrating to walls, but u have seen women having 10 babies and no idea of contraceptives. Not only that they ruin their own lives but of babies. 14 is best age to teach such things as this is when a girl gets matured.
    Many mullas proudly say that girl gets baligh by 14 and should be married, if she can be married when she gets mature, why cant she be taught about sex?

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  • Mian Jawad Gilani
    Oct 11, 2012 - 9:24AM

    In Iran their religious council under the Ayatollah’s passed a fatwa to teach sex education in schools in 1989. Their politicians approved it in 1993. All of this is taught from class 8 for boys and girls. Is Iran unIslamic

    http://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v18/03/183201202790286.pdf

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  • Boy Next Door
    Oct 11, 2012 - 11:49AM

    @Ali Ahsan, u r so messed up… We r no Iranians… We are way different… they have been quite westernized and thanks to their birth control policies, and the way it is being promoted there, one can easily get the vibes, thousands of Iranians, both men and women, especially the young, have had premarital affairs, which of course your type would want to happen in Pakistan too, i am sure. I don’t mean it isn’t happening, but the society is not as perverted as in Iran.

    Iran is a miniature France… not in terms of development or anything related to it, but in terms of the prevalent air of sexuality beneath the threshold of overt public acceptance. The old and young over there, barring the religious ones, who are fearful of the repercussions, in general, are aware of it…but there is a general air of rebellion there that has somehow permitted such an aberration.

    U should by now get what i mean!!!!

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  • Bookie
    Oct 11, 2012 - 5:36PM

    The idea of sex education isnt just connected to having an illicit sex. Sex education is equally important after marriage. Women and men should be taught the entire reproduction process highlighting the use of hygiene, contraceptives, pregnancy detection and lot more. Why would anyone think that sex education has just to do with illicit sex.
    Everyone as he enters adolescence must be given sex education.
    Teaching our society the negative consequences of extra-marital or illicit sex comes under an ethical education which is equally important and runs in parallel to the scientific knowledge that has to be imparted.

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  • Yeah we want AIDS
    Oct 11, 2012 - 8:29PM

    How gullible are we.

    Premarital sex is rampant in Pakistan. The more risky it is to be exposed the better hidden it is.

    Just ask your sons and daughters and try not to catch them in the act. Don’t deny it. More Pakistanis have premarital sex than have fake degrees. Which means it is a pretty big number.

    This issue like any other is made worse by the signature Pakistani tendency of denial. Looking away and pretending a problem is not there. Wishful thinking is cancer.

    Human nature can never be suppressed. It should be directed gracefully via societal systems and norms that are in harmony with it.

    However since wretchedness is already at its peak in Pakistan and is something that especially appeals to us, NGOs should spend their time and money in other countries where it is actually well spent and appreciated.

    The only real error this NGO has made is wasteful use of donations.

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  • Oct 12, 2012 - 5:57AM

    I live in west and practice in the field of OB- GYN. I have delivered patients from age 14 yrs to 44yrs old.If the child is going to unisex school (for girls only), you could give them sex education by tenth grade. if it is a co education school, you may give same sex aducation early. May be 8th grade.At the end of the day, it is up to PARENTS to guide them well.Knowledge about SEX can be easily abused especially when you are teaching them contraceptive method.Actually there are two parts of REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM. first part is to give them knowledge how system works.( functions of ovaries, tubes and uterus).
    it is the second part where you are giving them information about CONTRACEPTION which can be abused.
    You can not compare western culture with Islamic culture in this field ( sex education and contraceptive method). you have to live in the west for few years to feel it and see it.

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  • We want to live in stone age
    Oct 14, 2012 - 3:24AM

    @Abu Bakar: ok, can you tell us which chapter/verse in Holy quran elaborates on sex education?

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Oct 16, 2012 - 2:53PM

    @We want to live in stone age: There are plenty. In the story of Lut(as) unnatural sex is forbidden (gays and lesbian). Anal sex is forbidden even with wife. I cannot quote surah & ayah no., consult an aalim. The newborn should be preferrably breast-fed for 30 months ….. etc. Study Bayan-ul-Quran by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi(ra).
    Regards.

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  • Nov 19, 2012 - 12:38AM

    No schools teach sex as they are interpreting. I tought class 7 kids in a Quack school of Karachi that a human cell has 46 chromosomes one pair is of XX chromosome if the human is a female and XY if one is a Male. I was reprehended for that. I had sopposed to have gone too far. For God sake very highly qalified people have written these books for educational purposes. No one has has taught kids how to preform sexual acts. Class 12 girls don’t understand what an ovary is. Most of the quack shools skip the Reproduction Chapter.

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  • Dec 8, 2012 - 9:57PM

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