A class 8 science textbook in Tamil Nadu has raised eyebrows after a sex education lesson from the textbook warned children not to "wear provocative dresses." The other warnings in the textbook include "when you are going to school by auto, bus or by train keep a safe distance from the other sex" and "take care of the way you sit."
The textbook has been printed by the Tamil Nadu government under Samacheer Kalvi (Balanced Education) system. The lesson on "how to prevent sexual abuse", warning the children of wearing provocative clothes, has been brought to the notice of the state education authorities, The Times of India reported.
"It was a long time ago. All these chapters will be revised. We have consulted officials with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to provide inputs this time on ways to prevent abuse," G Arivoli, the director of the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) of Tamil Nadu, was quoted as saying by TOI.
The school book was cleared for printing almost 12 years ago and all the chapters had been revised, the SCERT Tamil Nadu director added. He further added that the government plans on introducing "progressive" sex education from sixth grade itself.
The school officials have claimed that they are looking into the matter and will revise it accordingly. "The curriculum committee will look into this chapter and remove it by the next academic year if needed," a senior school education department official told TOI.
The book caused outrage on social media Thursday as users shared their dissatisfaction and disbelief over the content of the class 8 book.
Sherin Bosko, the co-founder of Nakshatra, an NGO that works with victims of child sexual abuse claimed that the book blames the rape victim rather than the one who rapes. "What message are we sending to our children? 'Sit properly or you will be raped'. And to the boy? 'If you rape a girl who doesn't sit properly, it is her fault'," she said.