Israel’s Ministry of Education has been criticised for removing a chapter on sex education from textbooks supplied to children in state-run religious schools.
The chapter, aimed at children aged between 12 and 15, describes the reproduction process, methods of contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. It was taken out after objections from Orthodox educational officials.
Zahava Gal-On, chairperson of the left-wing political party Meretz, told Haaretz that: “More than 200,000 children today are in the state-religious education system, which is 200,000 future citizens of the State of Israel who will grow up with ignorance and with the sense that the human body, or to be more specific, the body of the woman, is something dirty.”
Michal Tzadoki, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education, defended the decision, stating that “the religious community has a different world view than the secular community, and we accept that.”
Officials from the ministry said that the chapter would instead be taught to religious students over the age of 15, in high schools, and that the move is “not intended to change the goals of the educational programme.”