In the last week 14 parents have led a protest against the CEO of Dawood public school asking for her resignation. They demand that she step down because she introduced into the curriculum a grade 7 biology book which has a few pages on human reproduction.
I have not had the chance to view this book but according to my sources it outlines the basic organs as well as stresses on contraception and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. These parents are also upset because Ms Sabrina Dawood the schools foreign educated CEO has also introduced pant/shirt and skirt for girls in the school unform instead of the traditional shalwar kamiz.
Private Institutions Director Mansoob Hussein Siddique has informed some news sources that upon checking of the schools syllabus nothing controversial was found and thus its license is not canceled.
To me this out roar just points out the building tension between two segments of our society. Although it would be wrong to blame and brand the parents or the schools administration with labels, the fact that this is being made out to be about religion speaks of people unwilling to accept change. I for one do not think there is anything wrong with teaching our children about sex or reproduction or warning them of the dangers of unprotected sex. If the Quran our holy book can speak of it and against pre marital sex in open terms what are we shirking back from? Each child reads and completes the Quran before they even reach grade 5 do they not?
Why do we want our children to be so uninformed? Or do we think that reading about it in a biology book is worse than watching it performed live on tv? Because I can bet most of the parents protesting have cable in their homes and what children catch as input while flicking from one cartoon channel to another is known to us all. So why create a ruckus over educational distribution of information which is to safeguard the kids rather than encourage them towards promiscuity.
In any case I think parents who have reservations should definately now check the schools syllabus before entering their kids in the program. This school is using books imported from Singapore and thus the cultural values will be of the culture where they are printed.
Our schools should also learn to take parents on board in key changes to syllabus/curriculum as they are directly concerned and should be part of the decision process. If this was observed, then the whole brouhaha would not have taken place.