ADOLESCENCE EDUCATION PROGRAMME (AEP)
Context: Government of India is implementing the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) through State AIDS Control Societies in coordination with State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) using a 16 hours curriculum based module developed by NCERT; for adolescents in both inside and outside formal schools.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme that 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 prevention of HIV/AIDS. 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. 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. There is also a provision for orientation and sensitization to identified out-of-school adolescents and youth for awareness regarding life skills education. NEED OF ADOLESCENCE EDUCATION Adolescence is a very special period of a person’s life where an individual assumes a sense of self-identity and is marked by a myriad of emotions including enthusiasm, idealism, self-doubt and anxiety. Adolescence Education (AE) has been conceptualised 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 instil “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.
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