Sex education introduced in Kerala catechism classes

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Kerala, newsletter-lead

‘Enlight,’ the sex education initiative, has been launched for eighth-grade catechism students.

Archdiocese of Ernakulam-AngamalyKerala, January 06, 2013: The Catholic Church in Kerala has introduced sex education into the catechism (religious teaching) curriculum.

The Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church launched ‘Enlight,’ the sex education initiative for eighth-grade catechism students within the archdiocese a few months ago on an experimental basis.

“The response from the children, their parents and the teachers has been so overwhelming that we have decided to make it a part of the curriculum,” said Fr. Jimmy Poochakkatt, director of the Department of Catechism and Moral Education of the archdiocese.

The Church had earlier made it mandatory for would-be brides and bridegrooms to attend pre-marital counselling and sex education classes.

Catholic children in Kerala, from age 5, take religious lessons every Sunday after church, for 10 years.

This catechism lessons are often called ‘Sunday school.’

“We plan to cover all the 100,000 students—this will mean covering around 10,000 each year,” Fr. Poochakkat said.

So far, more than 8,000 children have attended the ‘Enlight’ sessions held at a dozen places across the archdiocese.

The day-long sessions, handled by psychologists and counsellors using audio-visual aids, introduce children to the Christian concept of sexuality and human body, scientific analysis of the functioning of sexual organs, puberty, biological changes in the body of a teenager and man-woman sexual attraction.

There is also a specific segment that deals with social networking traps and mobile phone abuse.

“The Church believes that sexuality is a divine gift. At a time when child sex abuse is widespread and the abuse of social networking and mobile phone is rampant, our teenagers should have a clear sense of the sexual traps they face in everyday life,” the priest said.

“Both the offenders and the victims lack knowledge of their own bodies and their sexualities,” he said, adding that they tell students attending ‘Enlight’ sessions that ‘sexuality is a divine gift, don’t misuse it.’”

‘Enlight’ lays stress on checking the abuse of social networking and the evil of teenage sex chatting, by exposing the risks.

– the hindu

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