Source: PIB & NCERT and Ministry of HRD
The government of India is implementing the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) through State AIDS Control Societies in coordination with SCERT using a 16 hours curriculum based module developed by NCERT; for adolescents in both inside and outside formal schools.
Need for Adolescence Education:
- Adolescence Education (AE) has been conceptualized as an educational response to the need for support, encouragement, clarifications, and information that adolescents often express in order to make sense of their rapidly changing world.
- Adolescence Education (AE) is guided by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 which recommends that education should instill ‘independence of thought and action, sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings, learning to respond to new situations in a flexible and creative manner, predisposition towards participation in democratic processes, and the ability to work towards and contribute to economic processes and social change.
- Based on these principles, AE aims to provide young people with accurate, age-appropriate and culturally relevant information; promote healthy attitudes and develop skills to enable them to respond to real-life situations effectively.
- The programme aims to empower adolescent learners to acquire knowledge of their needs and concerns related to the period of adolescence and develop life skills that enable them to practice informed and responsible behaviours.
- Adolescents are equipped with accurate information, knowledge, and skills in the specific contexts of the process of growing up and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
- Besides this, there is a comprehensive integration of the adolescent health needs and concerns into the school education and teacher education system.
- The target groups of AEP are all learners studying at the secondary and senior secondary level in government, local body and government-aided schools and learners of open schooling systems.
- Orientation and sensitization are also provided to identified out-of-school adolescents and youth for awareness regarding life skills education.
- At the national level, the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is co-ordinated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
- This programme is a major initiative within the larger Quality Improvement in Schools Scheme of MHRD.
AEP Implementation Strategy
- The interventions include support for integration of life skills and adolescent concerns in the learning materials of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) at the secondary level.
- The other important program component is implemented through schools in the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).
- This program component works through a cascade training approach that has created a pool of school system and board-specific master trainers who orient nodal teachers who are further entrusted with the responsibility of transacting life skills-based education to school students (classes 8, 9 and 11, ages 13 through 18) using interactive methodologies.
- To facilitate the nodal teachers to transact life skills-based education in the classroom, NCERT, with support from UNFPA has developed training and resource materials that recommend a minimum of 23 hours of transaction around the themes of understanding changes during adolescence and being comfortable with them, establishing and maintaining positive and responsible relationships, understanding and challenging stereotypes and discrimination related to gender and sexuality, recognizing and reporting abuse and violation, prevention of substance misuse and HIV/AIDS