THE Basic Education Teachers of Zambia (BETUZ) and some concerned parents have roundly condemned the planned distribution of condoms in secondary schools.
BETUZ spokesperson Kakunta Kabika said the planned distribution of condoms in schools by a named civil society had the potential to erode the morals of pupils and was a direct contradiction of the Christian and moral values on abstinence.
Mr Kabika said distribution of condoms in schools amounted to indirectly inciting sexual indulgence among pupils.
He said it was disheartening that Zambia’s cultural values were being diluted by so-called modern trends which were being championed by civil societies.
He said distribution of contraceptives in schools would only arouse indecent curiosity among pupils and lead them into practising sex.
He said instead of distributing condoms and contraceptives to pupils, civil societies should come up with more decent ways of teaching teenagers about sexuality and the dangers of sexually transmitted infections.
He said pupils should be taught that abstinence is the only way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections like HIV-AIDS and others.
Esther Mwangala, a representative of the Parents Committee of Kamwala Secondary School in Lusaka said the distribution of contraceptives in schools served only to encourage immorality among the pupils who were not ready for the psychological and physical consequences of a sexually active life.
Ms Mwangala feels that the exercise will only encourage pupils to indulge in sexual activities which can lead to unplanned pregnancies.
“If condoms are distributed to them, some pupils will feel encouraged to start engaging in sexual activity…and that will distract them from studies and expose them to other unnecessary risks,” she said.
She rejected claims by those arguing for the distribution of condoms and contraceptives in schools that it would curb teenage pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
“Our morals have been shut down by such trends… there is no way distribution of condoms can stop teenage pregnancies. It will just add up to moral decay in secondary schools,” she said.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili said she strongly opposed the idea.
She said in repeated recent pronouncements, President Edgar Lungu had been very clear about the importance of the nation upholding its moral values, especially among the youth.
‘If there are any civil society groups trying to advocate for that, they have no blessing from both government and the country as a whole, because distributing condoms in schools is encouraging children to engage in sex before marriage, she said.