Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday said parents were free to pack condoms for their children in their schoolbags, but would not allow them to be openly distributed at schools.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
He said this in the National Assembly during a question-and-answer session in response to a question by Zanu PF Proportional Representation MP Joan Tsogorani, who had asked Dokora to explain government policy regarding the issue of providing condoms to secondary school students.
Dokora’s response was that parents played an educational role in imparting behavioural issues in their children and, therefore, it was their responsibility as guardians to take part in the sex education of their children.
“The family as a unit is inseparable from the education of our children and the fundamental role of parents remains in place and cannot be replaced by teachers,” Dokora said.
“We must say children are in school to learn and be initiated for certain skills for life, and when it comes to condoms, you are the guardian of your child and you must have an intimate connection with your child so that when you pack their school luggage and prepare their books you can also pack condoms.”
He said he would not allow condom distribution at schools although the school system promoted unhu/ubuntu and provided some form of sex education.
MDC-T Proportional Representation MP Ruth Labode said if Dokora encouraged parents to pack condoms for their children, then it explained the high failure rates at some schools in Matabeleland North where students could not get a single ‘“A” Level point.
“Can you explain the terrible failure rates in Matabeleland North because this explains that sex education is also important at schools?” Labode said.
But, Dokora said there was no link between sex education and poor results.
Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi (Zanu PF) said it was not good to encourage parents to pack condoms for schoolchildren as this was against school values.
“We are guided by the need to grow our children in an awesome fashion through tenets of ubuntu which will permeate from early childhood development to ‘A’ Level and I say we do not separate parents from the education system. The school system will not deliver condoms as it is a value system in the domestic space by parents,” Dokora said.