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Dubai children successfully filled with terror

Dubai children successfully filled with terror

As kindergarten kids are taught about their ‘private’ areas, Kipp thinks we’re treading a very slippery slope.

February 3, 2011 4:41 by

Kipp is on a bit of a roll with this topic. Fresh from sarcastically advocating more fear, and calling out Springs residents for assuming the worst, we now report that Dubai Modern High School is educating kindergarten pupils to “protect their bodies, including private parts,” according to Gulf News.

A circular was sent round to parents saying a session on personal safety has been organized for kindergarten children. The session apparently told kids, “The reason for having some parts covered is because they are important parts, very delicate and can hurt if not kept covered. Example: why is the heart hidden … that is why the genitals/private parts/…are also kept covered. We always wear underwear/panties to keep them covered.” Also, “Names of genitals were mentioned with the aim of reducing awkwardness about these parts. Myths about these parts being ‘shame-shame’ or ‘unclean’ were also clarified,” the circular said.

Kids were told that these parts could be touched “only while bathing and when you finish in the toilet — by your parents, teachers or other care givers (maids, aunt).” They were told never to undress completely in front of anyone apart from these people. “Safe and unsafe touching was discussed. Puppets, role-play and talk were the methods used. Safe touches are pat on the back/head, high fives, hand-shaking etc. Unsafe touches are pat on bottom/chest, kissing on lips, tickling,” said the circular.

“Oh and by the way,” thinks Kipp, “despite what we started off saying, you should be ashamed of your body, and every adult you meet who is not your parent, teacher or maid is out to get you.”

We’re not experts in childcare, but we can’t escape the feeling that these classes cross a line. Kids should be protected from risks, but we as adults should assume the responsibility for them – being alert, supportive, caring, and generally loving. Planting the idea that every adult you don’t know is a threat, or that your body is something to hide, at such an early age seems in itself an act of cruelty and theft of innocence.

What do you think? Do you agree with the lessons, or do you think these issues are too adult for kindergarten?

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  1. a-hem on February 5, 2011 9:12 am

    Sorry, Kipp… I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. Lessons on good touch/bad touch are something that kids need to know at a young age.
    Despite many kids in the UAE leading very sheltered lives, all it takes is a creepy uncle or over-friendly househelp to do something that would REALLY take away their innocence. Kids need to be told that this kind of behavior is not appropriate, and parents and caregivers need to create an environment that makes the child feel safe to say, “Okay, stop doing that, I don’t like it” and then inform the parents without feelings of shame, guilt or fear.

    Incidentally, this program isn’t new. It’s a concept that has long existed in the west, but I suppose it is a little harder to digest in more conservative societies where matters relating to sex are not talked about publicly.

  2. asra on April 11, 2011 5:22 pm

    I completely agree with the above person, children should be taught how to protect themselves. Considering recent cases happen in Dubai schools should work together with parents to safegaurd their children.

  3. Andrew on April 12, 2011 6:59 am

    The case in Dubai that was recently dropped through lack of evidence, that one you mean?

  4. Marianne on April 12, 2011 2:29 pm

    I agree with the first comment. The more children feel comfortable with their bodies and dealing with any issues that may arrise at an early stage, the more equipped they’ll be in dealing with personal issues. We should also encourage kids to learn more about EQ.


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