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Rights body for inclusion of online sexual harassment issues in textbooks

  • Published at 07:48 pm May 19th, 2019
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Ain O Salish Kendra officials during an 'exchange of views' meeting at Dhaka’s CIRDAP auditorium on Sunday, May 19. 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

'We are aiming for 2021 to incorporate a chapter on online sexual harassment in either Information and communications Technology (ICT) or PSC Bangladesh O Bisho Porichoy'

Human Rights organization Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), recommended inclusion of online sexual harassment issues in textbooks of high school curriculum by 2021.

The rights body came up with the recommendation, during an “exchange of views” meeting, on inclusion of online sexual harassment issues in school curriculum, at Dhaka’s CIRDAP auditorium on Sunday.

Executive Director of Ain O Salish Kendra, Sheepa Hafiza, said, “ We are aiming for 2021 to incorporate a chapter on online sexual harassment in either Information and communications Technology (ICT) or PSC Bangladesh O Bisho Porichoy.”

While presenting the draft on this topic, Ambica Roy, coordinator of child rights unit of Ain O Salish Kendra, said around 350 to 400 children are being bullied on cyberspace every day.  

Professor Emeritus of BRAC University, Manzoor Ahmed, said National Curriculum, and Textbook Board should take some pilot projects to see how this topic should be included in textbooks in an effective manner.

Arzu Akhter, a high school teacher of Kakoli High School & College in Dhanmondi, said teachers, and students both feel shy to talk about this issue in the classroom, as we have a longstanding tradition of viewing sex related subjects, and sex education as something offensive.

Ferdausi Moula, child psychologist of Bangladesh Protibondi (Differently-abled)  Foundation, said children with hearing impairment are using video call software a lot these days as it allows them to use sign languages.

She said online safety issues of differently-abled children should also be included in the curriculum.

Mahjabeen Haque, professor of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, said the lessons should be comprehensible to children as this topic requires a lot of understanding of the laws on cyber crime.

She said sensitizing the parents about online sexual harassment is important as well.

Deputy Secretary of the Education Ministry, Lutfun Nahar emphasized on including lessons for online sexual harassment issues in Madrasah curriculum as well.

Mohammad Nurunnabi, team leader of child rights unit of Ain O Salish Kendra, and Mahmudul Kabir, country director of Terre Des Hommes’ Bangladesh office were also present at the meeting.