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Teachers, school kids to be sensitized about gender

Aug. 28, 2013

Once again, the need for gender sensitivity among youth has risen following the recent case of brutalization of a photojournalist, which has shocked society. Taking a leaf from this, the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) will conduct gender sensitivity sessions with children aged 11 to 16 in all its 150 schools here. "We realized the need for this after the Nirbhaya case in Delhi and immediately started looking out for people who can conduct regular workshops in our schools. This recent case in Mumbai once again highlights the mentality of the public, and that is what we need to change," said Fr George Athaide, ABE secretary and principal of St Michael's High School, Mahim.

ABE has roped in a city-based NGO to formulate a proper programme in gender sensitivity. The workshop is first for school teachers, who will conduct similar workshops in classrooms. "Each teacher is being handed a kit, which is an amalgamation of reading material, stories for children, worksheets and group activities. The workshop includes topics like growing up and emotional and physical changes it brings along in boys and girls, prejudices, discrimination to other topics like violence in society and sexual harassment," said Noella de Souza from Avehi Abacus Proj-ect, which is conducting the sessions.

Teachers from almost all ABE schools in the city will attend the sessions. "Our aim is to free boys and girls of prejudices and be better human beings in future," said de Souza. The first session was held in a Thane school on Monday and teachers from ABE schools in south Mumbai attended a similar session at Victoria High School on Tuesday. The third session will be held in Bandra on Thursday for schools in the western suburbs. "While our main aim is to sensitize boys to understand and respect all women in their lives, we are also ensuring that even girls are more aware of their rights and know how they should be treated in society," said Fr Atahide.

The teachers will have to now conduct similar workshops for students from Std VII onwards. "If the teachers can prevent one girl/woman from being targeted in future, it will be a great job and contribution to society," he added.

Source: Times of India



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