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Karnataka: School HIV/AIDS awareness campaign scrapped

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Karnataka - Bangalore. HIV/AIDS awareness campaign scrapped

Nagesh Prabhu

Programme in 8,000-odd government schools discontinued. Government

had decided against introducing sex education in schools NACO has

asked KSAPS to stop funding the awareness campaign


BANGALORE: The State Government's decision to not introduce " sex

education " in schools has brought to a halt HIV/AIDS awareness

programme in thousands of government and aided high schools

throughout the State.

National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), the nodal agency at the

Centre for HIV/AIDS prevention measures, has asked the Karnataka

State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) to stop funding the awareness

programme in high schools in the State.

An official in the Health Department told The Hindu that NACO used to

set aside funds for awareness programmes to be taken up by society.

In 2006-07, the society had spent over Rs. 1 crore for undertaking

awareness programme in 8,000 schools.

NACO had decided against taking up the awareness programmes following

reports that the H.D. Kumaraswamy Government opposed adolescence

education programme in high schools. Rajasthan and Gujarat too

opposed the programme launched by the Union Ministry of Human

Resource Development in collaboration with NACO, for students in the

15-17 age group.

On April 18, 2007, the H.D. Kumaraswamy Government held a meeting

with various non-governmental organisations and decided against

introduction of adolescence education programme on the grounds that

it would not be in the students' interests.

The Health Department official said the Education Department's

decision against introduction of the programme resulted in

discontinuing HIV/AIDS awareness programme in schools. Instead of

adolescent education, the previous Government decided to

launch " value-based " education.

The then Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Basavaraj S.

Horatti had constituted a high-level committee to look into the issue

of adolescence education programme.

However, the committee has not yet submitted its recommendations.

The society, established in 1999, with the aim of reducing the spread

of HIV infection and strengthening the State's potential to prevent

and control HIV/AIDS, has been implementing awareness programme in

schools with the help of block education officers and schoolteachers.

Besides incurring training expenditure, the society used to provide

all relevant material to schools.


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