Framework being developed for future sex education textbooks

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources Development yesterday decided to develop a framework which will serve as a guide for compiling future sex education textbooks.

The decision was made in the wake of the controversy surrounding ‘Hathe Ape Potha,’ a supplementary textbook on sex education for grade seven students.

The Sectoral Oversight Committee had previously recommended to the Ministry of Education to submit a full report on ‘Hathe Ape Potha’ in a month’s time.

Committee chairman Prof Ashu Marasinghe suggested that a framework is needed to explain what measures need to be taken when introducing books on sex education. Suggestions made by those who oppose the Hathe Ape Potha as well as those in favour of the book will be taken into consideration in developing the framework.

Following the implementation of the framework, a national policy on sex education will be formulate later.

“At the end of the day, everyone agrees that a national policy should be made on how to introduce study material for sex education for school children. But there are different opinions on the nature of the policy,” Marasinghe said.

The committee is scheduled to meet on February 17 in parliament to develop the proposed framework with the participation of education and health sector experts.

Additional secretary to the Ministry of Education R M M Rathnayake told EconomyNext that the framework will be useful as the ministry intends to introduce a book on reproductive health for grade 12 students in the future.