Condoms in schools

2015-06-03 06:00

THE Department of Basic Education in the Western Cape has a proposal to make available free condoms to primary schools.

The issue of teenage pregnancies can no longer be ignored, hence drastic action has to be taken.

The Western Cape has reported that 78 primary school girls fell pregnant in 2014, with five of those in Grade 5. These statistics show that children are aware of sex and are engaging in unprotected sex. Are parents abdicating their responsibility to inform their children about their sexuality? Is it a case of parents relying on the teachers to disseminate this vital information to their children?

Some parents are conservative, resulting in them shying away from the critical topic of sexuality. The channels of communication between parent and child must be open at all times. Parents need to have the necessary skills in terms of interacting and answering the relevant questions about the birds and the bees. Dismissing or ignoring questions from children, irrespective of how uncomfortable they may be, may lead the children to getting the wrong information from friends who are neither informed nor qualified to answer questions on sexuality. Misinformation given to a young mind is detrimental, resulting in their decision-making processes being compromised.

Parents are obviously not in agreement with these proposals. Some are saying that if a child sees condoms in school he or she will want to experiment and will probably be pressured into having sex. Others are taking a biblical perspective, saying that people need to be married before engaging in sex and giving children condoms contradicts this ideology. The Department of Health has realised that teenage pregnancy in primary schools is a problem. It is therefore incumbent on it to make available condoms to all those who need them, so that they can protect themselves.

VIJAY SURUJPAL

Via email

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