Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did your school provide you with sex education?

Warning: I am not in a good mood to sugar-coat my stings. This post contains a lot of information about you and your child's development. It will be uncomfortable to read and it might have been a taboo topic. If you have a child and you still feel this post is lame, get off my blog and never return because you have already failed as a parent.

I wrote this post when I was extremely agitated and so it may not be the best read. It is about the ultra-orthodox, repressive education system in Chennai/TN. Read ahead and get the picture.

I recieved this as an forward and it was supposed to be funny.

And I found it to be very funny. I was born and brought up in the same city as this (Satya-Baama Engineering College) university is and I do not find it insulting because the whole city is just retarded and refuses to change.

The poster is just a sample of the abuse that goes in the name of discipline in Chennai, India. The parent's over excitement in ensuring their child's future, blinds them to the extreme situation the child faces in orthodox and backward education system that exists in Tamil Nadu (a southern coastal state in India).

Readers who have experience living in Tamil Nadu may please affirm/refute my allegations below.

The Kinder-Garden starts at the age of 3 for our young darling, but we want our little angel to be better equipped when she enters the kindergarden so there is a pre-school which starts at the age of 2! I am not sure who invented this, but the government school starts with the First standard at the age of 5, and has been so since the British system. One more place where our dear Indians have acted on divinity and reduced the most important phase of development in a child.

Did you know that you just cut your child's second psychosexual developmental stage ? The Anal stage is where the child learns about anal control. It means, she was trying to learn to poop and you sent her to learn arithmetic. The utter lack of any sense of knowledge before interfering a growth process of a child numbs me. Lady, you just sent your darling son to a stranger of a teacher and placed him in the middle of tens of other equally confused babies, when he is incapable of developing any kind of relationship with the teacher or other students and you expect him to learn ?!

By the way, who determines these private educational policies in Tamil Nadu and in the whole of India ? Is there any regulation?

Since *every* child from rich and middle class families has been to private school in India, we are looking at a potentially high percentage of urban population, who have been affected in either Anal stage or Phallic stage. Not that sending them to school will completely ruin their psycho-sexual development, but without their natural protective (mainly mother) character they would be lucky if they escape unscathed through this wilderness. But, since Freudian psychology is not accepted completely even though seen in real life, I will focus on more physiological issues.

This is just the wonderful starting point of a child in Chennai, India. But wait, this ride is not over yet. (From this point on... you can relate to your experience)

The child goes to pre-school at 2 (killed the Anal stage) , kindergarden at 3 and 4 (Phallic stage crushed) and finally enters the First standard at 5. Now, you might realize, you cannot ruin the toddler's development any further, but no ho ho! It continues to whack the brains out of the kid in her/his puberty.

Since I am guy, I will start for boys. Since there is no external sudden onset of the puberty, it could conveniently be ignored to be talked about. There exists considerable *fear* on the part of the boys in their unspecified change of their voice, body and facial hair. No boy will go and ask his parents about the sudden hair growth in his body and will try to rationalize it with his limited knowledge and could come to any quite random conclusion. This would be made worse by the fact that his voice sound more feminish now adding to the ridicule among peers, sudden unwanted physiological changes again noticed by everyone and being "looked at"! More reason to talk to if you find signs of puppy fat or gynacomastia.

Please, please talk to him before he hits this stage! I plead here because, I did not have any kind of sex education in my school or college and I know that friends are not a reliable source of information !

I am confident that most of the people in India who have not had a class-room course on human anatomy will think that the female "comes to age" at puberty! The previous statement is as ignorant as it can get. The mother might have experienced thelarchy, pubarchy and menarchy but could have forgotten by the time the daughter reaches this stage. I am not a girl, so I do not how it feels. I would assume that the mothers talk to girls about this because of the much more dramatic bodily changes in the girl. Remember, the puberty does not suddenly commence at menarchy and also includes the most important mental maturity.

I want to stress on the importance of the knowledge of puberty because, as far as I know Chennai many schools *do not* have sex education! I did not have it. My school's name is Balalok Matriculation Higher Secondary School. It was a reputed school in its geographical region and is famous for it discipline. I am sure there are many schools like these in Chennai which spends a lot of time, effort and money in spiritual development, but has consistently produced batches of ignorant younsters for the country. Many may not know, but this school had been an advocate of a Hindu holy man and his teachings until a summon was issued related to a criminal investigation. This lasted for about 3 years during my adolescence. Imagine my confusion first at the acceptance of this guy and then the rebound!

Clinging hopelessly to orthodox methods can possibly ruin your child's development and some of the damage may not be visible right away. Chennai has become notorious for such extreme conservatism and stone-age thought process. Now, I get this email from a friend of mine about a near imprisonment of college students in the Satyabama Engineering College (now a deemed university). The Chennai city is brimming with smart people, ready for yet another generation of ignorance.

Are the rules specified in Satyabama Engineering College even legal ? Is this human ? Is this college accredited ? Do you think that a college, which is attended by bright young men and women, should follow these rules ? How many colleges are like this one? If you are from Tamil Nadu, you think you really had a complete educational experience?

It is time to change.


Blogger itchingtowrite said...

understand the concerns cited on your site. while the college instructions are a little too much and yes I am aware of the restrictions. I once met a girl and boy talking on the office stairs and asked them "how come' & they mentioned that since they were siblings they were allowed to talk between 3-5 pm on the office staircase!! But yes, I would definitely send my child to play school irrespective of the poop learning bit they are supposed to do. more than anything else, it lets the kids interact with others of their age - I mean everyone requires company similar to why not the toddlers. as long as it is not too taxing, I d like my kids to go to a pre school, learn some new stuff, etc. The mind is limitless. the more you teach it the more it learns, teh more you fill in , teh more it expands and the more you exercise it the more it sharpens...

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 5:30:00 AM CDT  
Blogger artnavy said...

I am not sure whether I agree completely... But one that gets me now a days is how often I tell my kid" NO" far exeeceds the times i say "welldone"- and she is barely one year old. Imposing norms/ restrictions, then school, school bags, belts and uniforms- I do not think I am grown up for that yet...

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 5:39:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Hip Grandma said...

you say that you are talking abt Tamilnadu.But isn't it the same all over India?My children didn't go to a play school but my daughter has no option.she sends her kid to a day care.Regarding Satya bhama Engineering college the rules only show how insecure and immature the management is.If they forbid girls and boys from interacting in campus do you really think they can stop anything?starting from dates to rapes?There has to be a change in the mindset all over India.Instil good values instead of imposing rules.Trust them and they will never betray you.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 9:24:00 AM CDT  
Blogger dOne said...

The Kid, I see your point but I am not sure if your been able to streamline your thoughts just yet. I don’t want to be judgmental, but that was what I felt after reading this post.

Regarding question of Sex Education in India, I agree to its importance, however I am not sure if we as a society is ready it, for such issues the public opinion can only be changed over time. Think about its impact in rural Bihar and UP if it is introduced in state curriculum, where the girls are not encouraged and there are roughs among boys.

Regarding your question about discipline, there has to be a rulebook, as education is not only mode of acquiring knowledge, but also a medium of embedding discipline in young minds, the educators have to promote competition in appropriate area and not in materialistic life style. We need Murthys and Kalams and not Sherawats, Khans or Bhachans, to shape our future.

And finally your point of what is right age for a child to start education. Gone are the days of joint family, when the child is use to learn from Grandparents and uncles and cousins and hence the formal education system could start later in life. We are staying age where the family stays in locked doors of 700 sq. ft. space. Imagine the progress of a child, who doesn’t get exposed to world without a proper guidance. I understand we new age parents are zealous about our shaping our child’s future and we over do. But remember early education was always there, the medium has changed, the educators have changed and it is part of changing lifestyle.

I am sure you would like to differ with my opinion, but believe me I had questions similar to you and I deduced similar answers, but my perception have changed over time.

However, it was still interesting reading your post.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 10:23:00 AM CDT  
Blogger hillgrandmom said...

As you have said in your post, the biggest problem is i think that parents forget what they were like when growing up! But i do want to add that in all these situations--pre-school, nursery, high school(where the teens are)and college, everybody and everything gets a different perspective if there is one understanding teacher, who can address his/her students issues as they come up.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 12:46:00 PM CDT  
Blogger The Kid said...

@itchingtowrite: It would be great if you could give details about your school/college and if they had similar spiritual activities and/or sex education.

@artnavy: Same here. Can you please provide details about the ways in which girls get their sex education?

@hipgmom: thanks for support.

@Done: I think you are right... the post when I read it now, looks more like a mish mash. I will write another one, much clearer one.

I did not know I will get comments against sex education itself! This is a complete shocker!

> We need Murthys and Kalams and not Sherawats, Khans or Bhachans, to shape our future.
I do not see the relation... but in case you are giving negative examples, I do not think imposing rules to young men and women is any kind of solution.

and YES! I believe change can be brought in this generation itself. Just take a look at the
The devils of our society are ours to kill.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 12:48:00 PM CDT  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Hello kid - I agree on all the points regarding the restrictions placed by such universities. There is also a need for us as a people to be able to talk to our children about sex related issues at the appropriate times. Have a look at the following blog which contains a series of articles on sex education.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 12:51:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Ravi said...

Kids go to play school at 3, I think, not as early as 2. I think the 2 issues are quite different: one about sex ed and one about discipline in school. I think discipline is good, and religious basis for doing that is useful for the future of the kid, Kid. My convent education instilled a lot of discipline and related values in me for which I am thankful. I totally disagree with religious ideas being propagated via teaching at school, like the kind you mentioned.
Regarding sex ed, In Pune and most urban schools in Maharashtra, it is a part of the curriculum, and hence, mandatory. Yes, its surprising Chennai is still enmeshed in old-fashioned tradition. Well, no sex ed and urban pop culture, that explains why Chennai has the highest HIV infection rates in the country, at least until recently. No one is educated about condoms and STDs, and when actress Khusbhu talks about safe sex, etc, the political parties rage and fume over ethics and morality. So hollow... we can go on and on about TN politics. Save it for another day.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 10:48:00 PM CDT  
Blogger dOne said...

~We need Murthys and Kalams and not Sherawats, Khans or Bhachans, to shape our future.
I do not see the relation... but in case you are giving negative examples, I do not think imposing rules to young men and women is any kind of solution~ was comment to your statement, about your comment on rule-book from some school. We need authority to impose some form of discipline, otherwise colleges would just turn out Mr. Grasim and Ms. India. Ofcourse as students it gives a purpose to be a rebel too.

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 12:48:00 AM CDT  
Blogger dOne said...

@Kid... forgot to add one for more comment.

While I agree to your point; sex education is necessary, demographics need to be consider. Their are scums who need to be thought to respecting the other gender, while there are those who can gain knowledge.

If we make sex education compulsory to everyone, it might create a monster of its own.

And finally, this generation needs to take up the initiate, but this generation need to understand that world was not evolved overnight. The results may not yeild in this decade.

With that I rest my case.

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 12:56:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Kid said...

@hillgrandmom: You said it. Somehow, I feel the two grandmoms who visit my blog are much more liberal than some of my own age! Thanks for the support.

@visitor: Thanks for the link. "Thamizhachii" is a very good writer indeed!

@Ravi: I will verify the minimum age to join school. It may be 2 in Maharashtra but different. and thanks for the updates. If the schools in Pune have compulsory sex-ed, I guess it must be a very open and forward thinking society!

People in Tamil Nadu, please verify the age at which kids are sent to pre-school.

@dOne: I am sorry, but I am completely unable to understand your impossible standpoint.
Regarding discipline in college: do you really think that banning pocket money from men and women of age 17-21 is good for discipline? do you think that punishing men and women in their prime ages for talking to the other sex is right ?? (These were the exact rules of the Satyabama engineering college). I am sorry, I have to say that such restriction of "majors"(18+) is not even a parent's right.

Regarding sex-ed: There is a difference between porn and sex-ed. Sex-ed tries to teach people about the sex organs, functions about their own rapidly changing bodies. I am sure that teaching the girls in Bihar/UP about their bodies is going to excite ruffians to go and rape more girls!

I am trying to talk about the ultra-orthodox education system in Chennai/TN. It is repressive, ignorant and illegal.

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 1:48:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Visitor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Hello Kid,
Thanks for following-up and seeing the suggested blog. Since you had mentioned about anonymity in that comment, I thought you might like to see a debate on the question of anonymity on the net.

And another good writer that I can reccommend is The Brownie.

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 9:55:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Anusha Parthasarathy said...

Well written post...I agree with you...Satyabama College goes really overboard imposing these stupid rules and regulations. They dont encourage healthy interaction between guys and gals...Anyways it does not make a difference to their students as you can see loads of opposite sexes hanging out together at every damn hangout in chennai from a coffee day to fishermans cove...

As for sending the kids to school early, its generally the same everywhere in India but in TN its more prominent and prevalent because of the urge and high funda ambitions of young parents...they find happiness in the fact that their son/daughter barely 4 years old is able to recite "Daffodils" or "Vishnu Sahasranaamam" with ease...Crazy people! I still cant recite either of them :) lol :)but that's a different story!

Friday, September 1, 2006 at 4:32:00 PM CDT  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Hello Kid - another post on this topic Adolescence. It is in tamil, I believe you can read tamil. If you have problems in seeing the font, make sure your OS is win2000 and above and preferably use IE browser. The letters in the heading get split on Mozilla. She also writes excellently.

Saturday, September 2, 2006 at 12:32:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Amy said...

That list of rules...amazing, doesn't it just make people want to go and do the opposite? I am in favour of sex ed, although kids seem to make fun of it more so than actually take it in, but it's an embarressing subject so what can you expect? i went to a christian high school, so the only real sex ed kind of thing we had was this video called "sex has a price tag" - it was all about the outcomes of sex outside of marriage and it really changed my view on the whole thing. I think in the end sexual education has to be left up to the parents as well ast he school, my dad just gave me a book with all the stuff in it for me to read, i read that book over and over and over again and i think it made more of an impact on me than a teacher lecturing me for an hour each week. However, i'm thinking from an australian view so i can't really comment on the effectiveness on sex ed in Indian schools!
P.S. Your safe! My crush is english :P Sorry to scare you!

Sunday, September 3, 2006 at 7:15:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Kid said...

@visitor: thanks for the links. actually I already have bookmarked those. and yes I read tamil too(apart from english that is!)

@anusha: "opposite sexes hanging out"... in Madras?? actually I havent seen as many as other places. Yet, thanks for siding with me!

@amy: the sitch is horrible in south india. yet they do not seem to understand how TamilNadu has highest HIV infection rate!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 5:05:00 AM CDT  

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