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HomeEducationWhy young people need better platforms to access health education

Why young people need better platforms to access health education

Adolescence is a transformative stage of life, affecting individuals at virtually all stages of life. The crucial age group from 10 to 19 is characterized not only by biological, emotional and psychological changes, but also by first encounters.

Studies from around the world show that providing age-appropriate comprehensive sex education to adolescents can reduce health problems, gender-based and sexual violence, substance abuse, and STDs, among other benefits. However, there is unease and widespread opposition to sex education in India, as in many other countries. The prevailing myths, misunderstandings and taboos mean that young people are regularly monitored and persecuted, creating a barrier for them to receive accurate and reliable information. Political parties are reluctant to introduce sex education into the school education system for fear of community reaction.

Inadequate access to age-appropriate sex education is already causing numerous problems in India. A survey found that the majority of young people in India have unprotected first sex, which is forced for a significant percentage of young women (aged 15 to 24). More than 53 percent of children in 13 states reported experiencing one or more forms of sexual abuse, according to another survey commissioned by the Department of Women’s and Child Development. India also has the third highest percentage of HIV-positive individuals worldwide, although the number is declining.

There are numerous studies showing that young people who receive comprehensive sex education appropriately for their age have a lower risk of teenage pregnancy and venereal disease. The skills teens learn through sex education are also linked to more general life skills such as communication, listening, decision-making, negotiation and learning seeking and recognized sources of help and guidance such as parents, caregivers and professionals through the family, community and health and welfare services. . These practical life skills can benefit adolescents in various aspects of life, in addition to sexual relationships. They are taught to detect when they are being pressured by others, how to deal with these circumstances, and how to challenge entrenched stereotypes they encounter on a daily basis.

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Age-appropriate, effective and compassionate methods should be used when providing sex education. We need to sensitize and involve parents and teachers, as they are uniquely qualified to address the concerns of adolescents. Children should feel comfortable with them and respect them as reliable information providers.

It can be quite difficult to bring up delicate topics such as gender, reproductive health, violence and relationships in a formal school setting. It is a challenge to create a safe space where the students can be themselves and communicate without embarrassment or stigmatization. To face such challenges effectively, teachers need tools and resources, including games, quizzes, movies, and other communication materials. They also require the ability to motivate and involve parents so that they are sensitive to the changing needs of their children.

Students need access to reliable platforms where they can access resources directly so that they are not completely dependent on teachers and parents. It is critical to establish health clubs in schools and universities so that students have access to information and other health services.

The Internet is another means by which information can be accessed in a secure and private environment, but it can also serve as a source of false information or, more dangerously, as a place where people can be abused and exploited. We need to create more safe spaces online where adolescents can have conversations and where their sex-related myths and taboos can be broken.

Governments, educational institutions and civil society organizations will have to work together and realize that there is a long way to go, with equal efforts, both online and offline.



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