Despite being a small state Goa has a very high level of literacy rate (after Kerala) compared to any other state in India. But it looks like the state is still lagging as far as sex education is concerned. The recent statistics of rising pregnancies amongst the teenagers have revealed that the lack of sex education in the schools has compromised the safety and health of children in the state.
According to the report published on the Times of India, around 12 cases of teenage pregnancies have been reported in the first quarter itself and these are the only cases that have been reported in the various police stations of Goa. The actual number of teenage pregnancies may be much higher as they go unreported due to the stigma attached to it.
Based on the research of the Goa Government’s Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) the rising figure shows an alarming trend due to the lack of sex education amongst the youth in the state. There is a serious need for the introduction of sex education in the schools of Goa.
According to the sources, presently children rely only on the internet for the information on sex which leads them to the misleading path. The report further states that amongst these 12 reported cases, most were the curious children who had indulged into the adult activities and there are only a few cases wherein the incest and sexual abuse reported.
The coordinator of VAU Mr. Emidio Pinho informed that most of the cases of sex were consensual “In 2018, there were 10 cases reported. If one looks at the rise in cases related to child sexual offenses in Goa for the last quarter, there is a steep rise in teenage pregnancy,” he said.
With no reliable source to dispel myths and openly discuss body changes with teenage children, there is a growing number who are misinformed. “Sex education must be implemented in schools right from the age of 11. Such education should be imparted keeping in mind the level of understanding and the age of the child. Programmes should be standardized and outsourced for better implementation,” he said.
According to the reports, most of the cases comes into the light only after the child visits the hospital with the complaints of pain and fever and the parents remain in the dark about the situation “It is doctors on duty who report the matter to the local police,” he said.
Experts blame the lack of basic sex education for teenage pregnancies. “In some cases, the victims were not even aware of the correct terminology used for the parts of the body. These children study in Classes VIII and IX,” Pinho said.
Most families do not see the upside of coming forward with such cases due to societal pressure. It is often doctors who notify the authorities. When it comes to filing police complaints, parents think no good can come of the situation. It is only after due counseling to the family and an explanation on the need for mandatory registration of an FIR, that they report the offense, the VAU coordinator said.
Reporting to the police is not the solution to the situation unless it is a forced sexual activity and as the report claims that most cases are the consensual sex only the proper sex education will be able to solve the problems and keep the children safe from falling into the trap of unwanted things. What is your opinion on this??