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Monday, September 13, 2004

sex programs in schools

The scene is the chamber of the Principal of a School which runs on Government grants. The Principal Sri Sada Prakash is a learned person, well known in academic circles. He was nominated a couple of times for the best Teacher award but, somehow, failed to make it to the dais! The teachers were assembled in front of him, faces grim. E.T.Hash, the history teacher sat beside V.Gyan, the science teacher. To their right sat the three ladies - Mrs. Martha Matrix, expert in maths along with Lajwanti Sonar, the computer software specialist and Sangeeta, the music teacher. On the other side, Naveen Lohar, the computer hardware teacher sat with Pitti Mastaan (no relation to Haji Mastaan), a one time state level hockey player and presently, the sports Teacher. There were also Praveenji, the geography teacher and Noel Know-all, the English Teacher.
Sri Sada Prakash looked at the group and cleared his throat.
‘Ladies and gentleman, I must at the outset inform you that we have to understand and appreciate the serious nature of discussions that we are about to embark upon.’
No one bothered to respond since no response was necessary. They stared back at him in stony silence.
‘I have received a message from the Education Board, hence I have asked all of you to assemble here immediately.’
Still the silence remained unbroken. When a superior spoke, it was always prudent to maintain silence as long as possible!
‘They want us to plan a very sensitive program in our school,’ he said. ‘We have to tread with the utmost caution and must positively ensure that we do not slip up on any aspect whatsoever and become the laughing stock.’
‘Excuse me Sir,’ Praveenji broke the silence – ‘but unless we are made aware of the subject, it will be difficult for us to organize our participation.’
‘They want us to plan a SEX program in the school,’ Sada Prakash said.
The ladies squirmed in their chairs.
‘I think we will have to submit a skeleton proposal first,’ Praveenji said.
‘Yes. Within a week we have to do that.’
‘Then we should form a committee?’ Praveenji queried.
‘But naturally,’ the Principal said. ‘You are the oldest member here both in terms of age and experience. You will recollect the earlier studies we undertook while introducing computer subjects. We finally recruited Lajwanti and Naveen. Then they wanted our boys to be trained in hockey so we conducted another study and inducted Pitti Mastaan into our folds. Now also, we must proceed on similar lines.’
‘Our focus must be on knowledge and experience,’ Praveenji looked from over his glasses towards Martha. She was a couple of years younger to him. ‘The faculty members should be mature enough to explain to the children both sides of the coin.’
‘I fully agree with you,’ Sada Prakash twirled the pencil in between his fingers. ‘Youngsters will be unfit for this role.’
‘But, we could certainly involve them,’ V.Gyan did not want to be left out of the discussions. ‘Young persons view the world from a different perspective. They very much need to participate. After all, they are our future.’
‘My dear Gyan-ji, we have to handle students from outside our state and even from neighboring countries. We have to focus our attention on experience and maturity.’
‘Other states?’ Pitti was visibly upset. ‘That will disturb the quota system!’
At this point Lajwanti raised her hand.
‘Yes Laju?’ the Principal looked at her.
‘I don’t think it will be correct to involve outsiders until we acquire the necessary confidence,’ she spoke barely above a whisper.
‘I endorse her views,’ Naveen immediately chipped in.
‘But my dears, this is a Student Exchange program. Our children will go elsewhere, other students will come here. It is all a part of Project Dosti Badao.’
‘Oh!’ Praveenji looked crestfallen. ‘I was under the impression that ….’
‘That it’s all about the birds, bees and storks?’ Martha glared. ‘It is most unfortunate that we have to tolerate persons who are waiting to take advantage of situations.’
A ripple of silent laughter lightened the atmosphere.
Lajwanti heaved a sigh of relief.
‘Let me clarify,’ the Principal said. ‘In this age of acronyms, Student Exchange Programs has been communicated as the SEX Program. Birds, bees and storks are the preserves of Natgeo – we will not into their territories at present.’

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