‘Don’t give condoms in primary schools’

2012-06-12 00:00

“SATANISM” was the word used by the Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation to condemn the issuing of condoms in an Eshowe primary school.

The Sunday Times reported that pupils as young as nine years old at Zibambele Primary School receive condoms.

The newspaper said pupils had to sign a register before they were handed condoms and that more condoms could be found in the school’s toilets.

Nomkhubulwane, a non-profit body that aims to promote local culture and conducts virginity tests, condemned the issuing of condoms to the pupils.

“It’s so sad that children are handed condoms at school where they should be learning. Condoms are for family planning and prevention of HIV and not meant for children …” the organisation’s head, Nomagugu Ngobese, said. She told The Witness that condoms promoted promiscuity and children needed to taught to respect their bodies.

She praised virginity testing as a more effective measure to combat teenage pregnancies in KZN.

KwaZulu-Natal Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said: “Our policy states clearly that a school governing body in consultation with the school can decide [when they see a need] to distribute condoms to schools.”

He said distribution of condoms at schools should coincide with sexual education conducted mainly by life orientation teachers. He denied that pupils were made to queue and sign a register when receiving condoms.

Mahlambi said the department was worried about the number of pregnancies at schools.

National Teachers’ Union (Natu) deputy president Allen Thompson said KZN had the highest number of teenage pregnancies and the highest rate of HIV infection in the country.

“This makes Natu’s condom distribution initiative the perfect and a most appropriate destination to have kick-started the roll-out,” he said. “The survey shows that learners in Grade 3 are falling pregnant; this shows the kind of society we live in.”

He said the department targeted Grade 7 pupils because they were mature and the most affected.

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