Perth, August 25 : Muslims and Catholics have been enraged by explicit sex-education lessons in Western Australia schools, where girls as young as 14 are being made to roll condoms on to plastic penises.
Prominent WA Muslim imam Abdul Jalil Ahmad branded the lessons "pornography in the classroom''.
Peter Rosengren, the Editor of the Catholic Church's The Record newspaper, said that such a way of imparting sex education to school students was indicative of society's over-sexualisation of children.
Parents are unhappy because they feel that before introducing any such initiative, their permission should have been taken.
"It's outrageous. My concern is the ethical standards and moral values of an education system that believes it has the right, without my permission, to get my daughter to put condoms on plastic penises,'' Perth Now quoted one Axel Cremer, father of a Year-10 student from Rossmoyne Senior High School, as saying.
Leila Bothams, the principal of the school, wrote to cremer, saying that that the school would have contacted him, but she had been unaware that the program was being run for Year 10s.
Cremer said that the issue was not religious, but was about moral values.
He conceded that it was necessary to educate students about sexually transmittable diseases and unwanted pregnancies, but insisted that there were other ways to teach that.
Terming the lessons "completely evil'', Imam Ahmad said that the Government should band them.
"That's pornography in the classroom,'' he said.
Education Department deputy director-general Margery Evans said that the content of the program was consistent with the department's health and physical education syllabus, and that there were no plans to change it.
AMA federal president Rosanna Capolingua said that demonstrations were necessary because condom failure was often due to a lack of understanding about how they were used.