Educational issues

Schools are the right place to begin such sex education campaigns, naturally in an appropriate fashion.

Editorial February 05, 2013
There is a desperate need for girls and women to know about reproductive health. PHOTO:

A retired schoolteacher has moved the Lahore High Court against an NGO for distributing booklets on ‘sex education’ at schools in Gujranwala district. In its response before the court, answering allegations that it was ‘poisoning’ the minds of girls in classes six, seven and eight, the NGO has stated that the booklets were distributed under an agreement with the local government and aimed at empowering women within communities. After parents objected to some of the content, the booklets were duly withdrawn. However, despite this remedial action, the petitioner continues to demand that the NGO be punished for actions he deems immoral. The petitioner states there was also content on ‘friendships’ between girls and boys, and that sex education is unacceptable in our society.

This is a matter that has come up before. Attempts to discuss reproductive health at schools have repeatedly drawn controversy. The issue is one that needs to be tackled sensibly. There is a desperate need for girls and women to know about this matter. There is also an even more desperate need to promote birth control. This has been successfully achieved in other Muslim countries. We need to see why it apparently has not succeeded at home, with Pakistan’s birth rate among the highest in the world.

Schools are the right place to begin such campaigns, naturally in an appropriate fashion. Knowing more with regard to this subject is also important for women, in a society where such matters are rarely spoken of. This attitude needs to be changed. The change can only come step by step — but we need to work towards it and do everything possible to ensure children, both girls and boys, receive the education they require to conduct all aspects of their lives in a successful fashion. This would also be beneficial to society and for these reasons we need to overcome the taboos which exist for the sake of future generations.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2013.


Marina | 9 years ago | Reply

Human beings have innate desire to try out things which are kept away from their reach. It was the same desire which forced Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree despite of an early warning. Aim behind inculcating such thoughts in immature minds are linked with this innate curiosity, to arose desire of trying this forbidden part in adolescents.

Mohammed Abbasi | 9 years ago | Reply

Maybe the retired schoolteacher enjoyed teaching sex-education in his own way to kids and the sex-education that the NGO wishes to teach is in conflict with his desires?

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