Tue | Apr 21, 2015

LETTER OF THE DAY - Condom distribution in schools not the answer

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2013

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I DO not believe that the distribution of condoms in our schools is the panacea for the escalating number of teenage pregnancies registered each year.Do we realise that many adults who can easily access condoms still end up with unwanted pregnancies and repeatedly so?

It, therefore, suggests to me that it is not the non-use of condoms or aninaccessibilityto them that is causing the generic problem of undesired pregnancies, but rather the lack of knowledge about how to be ultra-careful during sexual intercourse.

I have heard many stories from people who admit to using condoms during sex, but did not realise that it broke or recognise that some "slippage" could have caused them to become impregnated. Essentially, condom use does not automatically and consistently prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI's). It is our knowledge of sex and the sagacious application of such knowledge that can truly preclude unwelcome pregnancies.

Character education

I suggest that more effort be made to teach character education in our schools, with a special emphasis on honing students' sense of self-worth and dignity. Too many of our young people do not realise what they are worth and so they copulate so casually and recklessly. If they learn to value and love themselves, they will value the import of waiting.

On the other hand, we must also be realistic. While we may make provisions for such education and preach the message of abstinence, not every student will develop so positively or adhere to the principles being taught. Consequently, we must also make provisions for greater sex education. Now, this does not mean distributing condoms in our schools or simply telling students what contraceptives are available and which to use. It means telling our students that if they cannot control their sexual urges (and some will tell you quite frankly that they simply cannot), these are the ways in which they can effectively use available contraceptives, and this is how they can properly access them.

Furthermore, we must educate them about how they can deal withany problem that might arise during their use of these diverse birth controls. For example, let them know what to do if the condom actually breaks.

Not every student is having sex. However, many of those who are can be stopped with the right instruction; and those who are seemingly unimpeded in their doings can be properly educated and, hence learn how best to protect themselves. Certainly, this is achievable without the wide-scale distribution of condoms in our schools.

SHAWNA KAY WILLIAMS

Shawna201@gmail.com