Debate over condom distribution in schools

2018-07-03 06:01
The Department of Education says condom distribution will depend on local conditions.PHOTO: sourced

The Department of Education says condom distribution will depend on local conditions.PHOTO: sourced

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THE issue of condom distribution in schools has come to light once again. This comes after various organisations in KwaZulu-Natal held a meeting to discuss whether the government should continue with its proposed plan of distributing condoms in KZN schools.

One of the organisations that were present at the discussion was Source of Hope Youth Foundation.

The foundation’s chairperson, Njabulo Togane, said that last year, the National Education MEC Angie Motshekga proposed a plan to distribute condoms to primary and secondary schools to reduce pregnancy rates in pupils.

Togane said they had decided to discuss the matter with the intention of giving people the opportunity to express their views as they are very involved in the matter.

He said: “We all know that there is a problem with teenage pregnancy and that’s why we held a discussion with the public and various organisations, for them to comment on what can be done to reduce pregnancy rates without distributing condoms to schools.

“We believe we must all get together to deal with this problem. This was the first time that we met to discuss this issue, however, this will not be the last time.”

The public also expressed their views on the issue. Pinetown resident Sibongile Nxumalo said she is against the proposal of condom distribution at schools.

“I don’t think this is a good idea because it will increase the rate of children being involved in sexual activities at a young age.

“It’s okay that they learn about sex and protecting themselves from sexual diseases, however, I feel that giving them condoms is like telling them to be involved in sexual activities.”

Anushka Chetty from Pinetown also disagreed with the plan of distributing condoms in school.

“It’s totally unacceptable, especially for children in primary school. This will make them want to be sexually active. The government should think of other ways of curbing teenage pregnancy.”

Nokuthula Shabangu from Botha’s Hill said: “Whether we like it or not, some of the children are already sexually active so I think the government is trying to decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Young children are dying due to HIV/Aids, therefore it’s better to teach them ways to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Although local schools did not want to share their views on this matter, the Pinetown reporter was able to discuss the matter with the KZN Department of Education.

Department spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo said: “The matter of the condom distribution to schools is not yet finalised.

“As we speak, there is not even a single school where the distribution of condoms has been made. You will remember that last year in August, the policy on this subject was gazetted and it was clear that the distribution will depend on the local conditions, which therefore means there will have to be consultation between the relevant stakeholders, including the school governing bodies.”

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