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Harsh Vardhan clarifies on ban on sex education in schools

NEW DELHI, 07/11/2013: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, BJP Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi during a press conference in New Delhi on Thrusday, Nov 7th, 2013. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

NEW DELHI, 07/11/2013: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, BJP Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi during a press conference in New Delhi on Thrusday, Nov 7th, 2013. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday denied that he had proposed a ban on sex education, as reported by some sections of the media, and said he “whole-heartedly supported pedagogy that is scientific and culturally acceptable” but was opposed to vulgarity.

Stating that he embraced rationalism as he was a medical professional himself, Dr. Vardhan said: “Anything abrasive to common sensibilities and articulated as such by responsible persons should be discarded and replaced by consensually accepted learning processes.” He said this in reference to criticism of what he had billed as “so-called sex education” on his personal website.

The Minister, who is currently on a visit to the United States, further clarified that the view expressed on the website was entirely his own and made in the context of the earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s decision to introduce Adolescence Education Programme (AE) in its original form in 2007. “Even chief ministers of UPA-ruled States had objected to it and subsequently it was modified,” the Minister said.

Pointing out that he had introduced a component on sex education in Delhi schools when he was the Health Minister of Delhi, Dr. Vardhan said: “Value-based school learning processes are common in all countries and I wanted to implement such a format in Delhi’s schools.”

Having stated his position on sex education, the Minister clarified that “crudity and graphic representation of culturally objectionable symbols as manifested in the UPA’s so-called sex education programme cannot be called sex education. Every education system must strive to have an ideal curriculum and to that extent my stand is valid”.

Describing Dr. Vardhan’s comments on sex education and condoms as “gems of wisdom”, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said: “Which school teaches vulgar sex education? Birth control, control of population without coercive means, use of condoms and contraceptives, prevention of sexually transmittable diseases including AIDS — which had gone down by about 56 per cent during the UPA’s tenure — and sex education are part of declared national and international policies.”


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 7:31:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Harsh-Vardhan-clarifies-on-ban-on-sex-education-in-schools/article11638194.ece