Gangtok: Reckitt, the global leader in consumer-healthcare launched ‘The Birds and Bees Talk’ programme in Nagaland for children between the ages of 10-19. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Shanavas C. (IAS), Principal Director, School Education Department, Government of Nagaland and Ravi Bhatnagar, Director of External Affairs and Partnerships, South Asia, Reckitt.
The Birds and Bees Talk (TBBT) programme is a comprehensive growing up, life skills education curriculum to help make children informed and empower them with critical information that promotes them to grow into responsible healthy adults.
Launched last year with the support of the state governments of Manipur, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, the Birds and Bees Talk programme already has a 2-level interactive, animated curriculum that covers growing up and life skills, to promote the core principles of inclusion, awareness, consent, protection, and equity. The holistic approach of the program envisages celebrating special days and important health days across the states leveraging its rich music, art and culture ensuring that knowledge is not limited till the restraints of physical classes.
This year, the programme is focused on deepening the impact in Nagaland by equipping thousands of adolescents and young people with a curriculum that will help them make informed choices and grow into healthy adults. It will be executed and implemented across Nagaland in government and private schools to ensure maximum reach and beneficiaries.
Shanavas C. (IAS), Principal Director, School Education Department, Government of Nagaland said, “We are proud to introduce this comprehensive program in Nagaland as The Birds and Bees Talk, which is the first and a unique curriculum to address the adolescents’ mental health and sexual health in the state. Our vision is to work towards transforming the lives of our youth, preparing them for a better and brighter tomorrow. We are happy to extend all the support and assistance of our department to the project’s success in the state and take this partnership forward.”
Director of External Affairs and Partnerships, South Asia, Reckitt Ravi Bhatnagar said, “India is a ‘Nation of Youth’, who form more than 60% of our population. Armed with accurate information, education and awareness, adolescents can form the future of the country and bring about the much-required social change. With our focus towards betterment of adolescents, we are proud & honored to embark on this partnership with the Government of Nagaland to launch TBBT, a comprehensive growing up life skills program for adolescents and youth. We are engaging youth by using non-traditional methods such as music, arts, and culture. This year, we are deeply focused on providing solutions such as e-learning system designed for teacher’s training, and a dedicated chatbot platform for Frequently Asked Questions. Our aim is to work towards transforming the minds of youth by keeping up with their advancements through education and awareness.”
Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India stated “Plan India has been working for more than two decades to improve sexual and reproductive health services and rights for all children, adolescent girls and young women and men in different parts of India. In sync with the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) of the Government of India, we believe adolescents and young people must be enabled, equipped and empowered for their holistic development. They should be aware of their sexual and reproductive rights, make informed choices for themselves and lead healthy lives, free from violence, discrimination and abuse. I am happy to share that launch in Nagaland state and support from the School Education Department of Nagaland for the “The Birds and The Bees Talk” Project will equip thousands of adolescents and young people with awareness and access to the sexual and reproductive health services and rights, which is important for strengthening gender equality in the state and our nation.”
Similar to other states, the program is implemented by PLAN India across 6 North East states of India. Under this curriculum, teachers from the enrolled schools will be appointed & equipped with full program essentials including teaching methods & lessons. The unique design of the program comprises of 27-hour lessons allowing the schools to teach in a staggered format, spread over the year. The program will help children in developing key skills like critical thinking and analysis, and informed decision-making.
The curriculum is divided in 14 key themes available in two levels: ages 10-14 and 15-19. The programme is building and launching its digital ecosystem to ensure that the COVID pandemic does not hinder learning and development. The digital ecosystem of the programme includes an e-learning platform to deliver sessions to students across the states, with a rewards and recognition programme linked to encourage schools, teachers and students to intensively engage with the content. Supporting the e-learning platform is an AI-enabled chatbot, and a podcast channel, along with a website that gives a complete overview of the programme.