The National Aids Council (NAC)’s proposal to introduce condoms in schools as a way of fighting HIV/Aids, has triggered a national outcry.
The council is also said to be proposing amendments to a number of laws, as a way of fighting the pandemic.
Programmes director for Justice for Children Trust, Caleb Mutandwa, said their organisation would not support the proposal.
“I think for us as an organisation, seconding the placement of condoms in schools will be difficult to support. Most children in schools are young and the majority of those at secondary school are still below age, below the age of 16. What will they need them for?”
Mutandwa added: “I think we should focus on educating them and try to discourage them from engaging in sexual activities, that is what we should really focus on because if we give them condoms what will that mean? What will we be teaching them? Better we enforce measures that encourage them to abstain altogether.”
Youth Forum senior programmes officer Terrence Chimhavi sang from the same hymn book.
“It would not be a good idea to put condoms in schools. There is no programme that teaches them about contraceptives and other problems they may encounter. Instead they should be taught about the disadvantages of engaging in sexual activities and be taught about how to abstain,” said Chimhavi.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Arts, Sport and Culture Lazarus Dokora professed ignorance of the issue.
“I have not yet heard about it. I cannot comment on something that is at a presumptuous stage,” he said.
NAC intends to emulate the South African example where children above the age of 12 have the right to access contraceptives.