Some parents in Chinsali district in Muchinga Province have expressed worry that their children are accessing condoms in schools. Bowa Mulenga has told the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) that children must not access condoms until they are mature enough to learn about the use of condoms.
Ms. Mulenga observed that allowing children to have access to condoms in schools will force them to indulge in sexual activities at a tender age.
Another parent, Ostetia Musonda, a marketeer, stated that children will not concentrate on their education if they are allowed to freely access condoms in schools.
She said pupils should not access condoms but instead be encouraged to attend school regularly especially that there is now free education.
“Our children will not concentrate in school but focus on the use of condoms if they can easily access condoms at school and this will affect their performance,” she said.
And Fred Mutale, a marriage counselor, said his counselling services have been affected as a result of children learning about the use of condoms at a tender age.
“If children are taught how to use a condom whilst they are young, then what is our job as marriage counselors,” he said.
However, Dominic Musheshu, a parent, said the distribution of condoms in schools is a good thing.
Mr. Musheshu said pupils must know about positives and negatives of indulging in sexual activities at a young age.
“Many Zambian parents ignore the need to teach children about condoms and sex. This has led our children to explore things they do not know,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Health Director, David Silweya, said the Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Education to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies.
Dr. Silweya added that the Ministry of Health has trained peer educators to also train teachers on how to teach children about sex education.
“We have a programme to reach peer educators who in turn train teachers on how to teach young people about sex education,” said.