We agree totally with the teachers’ union, BETUZ, the Minister of National Guidance and
Religious affairs and others condemning plans by some NGOs to distribute condoms in schools as a way of fighting sexually transmitted diseases and curbing pregnancies among pupils.
Although the issue of sex education has long been a controversial one, we think the stress ought to be on abstinence as the number one line of defence.
We are supporting this method since it is more profound than what civil societies are advocating.
Abstinence as the primary defence against unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, other STIs and also upholds the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.
There are those who argue that supplying condoms in schools, as an aspect of comprehensive programmes, produces results. No matter its merits, if any, we feel providing information about contraception and how to have “safer” sex takes kids down a very dark and uncertain path.
It is a proven case that condoms do not provide 100 insurance against HIV-AIDS and this is one aspect that those promoting the idea of providing condoms to school children are reluctant to emphasise.
We are not denying that condoms play a key role in preventing HIV infection around the world, we just do not believe that they should be promoted as the number one defence against the obvious risks and provided with such easy access to them.
We are imploring the government to stick to its guns by blocking the initiative of civil societies intent on taking this course of action. Many are motivated by nothing other than personal gain. We do know that NGOs in this area have access to millions of dollars of donor aid.
We strongly feel that this is one area that PTAs in all schools should be more militant and fight to regain their roles as the protectors of the children attending their schools.
NGOs propagating poisonous ideas must not be allowed to substitute the role of the family as the shaper of personal values. If this happens, the authority of the parents is undermined and the work of teachers made that much more difficult.
As things stand, we want advocates of abstinence to cry out to all corners of this country that condoms should not be condoned in schools.