Condoms at schools?

2014-07-30 00:00

SCHOOLS could very well become “just a place to have sex” if government accepts a proposal to have condoms distributed at schools.

This view of the Concerned Young People of South Africa (CYPSA) follows an open letter they wrote this week voicing their “grave concern”.

The possibility of condom distribution from as early as primary school has also drawn mixed reactions from various other organisations.

Earlier this year, the Basic Education Department made a proposal that could see condoms become an everyday sight in schools from next year.

But CYPSA believes the move will only serve to increase the high rate of HIV infections and teenage pregnancies by encouraging sexual activity.

“School would become a place to have sex, and not a place to be educated. It may not help, but [instead] will give children the licence to do whatever they wanted. We need people to be aware of what the repercussions of such a move would be,” said CYPSA chairperson Ntokozo Nhlabathi. “There are better ways to address the issue, that would reap better results.”

A Durban parent, Dean Defondaumiere, said he does not think condoms should be put into primary schools at all, as it sends out the wrong message. “I don’t think most juniors are aware of what condoms are, and I would be really worried if my children were in co-ed schools.”

Diakonia Council of Churches chairperson Reverend Ian Booth said the debate should not be about whether condoms are distributed, but rather on the behaviour of school-going youth.

“What the department is doing is a preventable method, because there is sexual activity among the youth. We need to discuss education that prevents promiscuity,” he said.

Glenwood High School governing body chairperson Gary Meyer said if implemented, it could awaken certain ideas in younger kids who still need to be educated.

“At Glenwood High, the department has been handing out condoms to children over the past few years already, but it is paired with sex reality education which is part of their syllabus.”

Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said there is a problem of pregnancy among pupils, as well as sexually transmitted infections, which could be avoided.

He said parents should talk to their children more about these issues.

sex and sexuality.


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