Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora on Wednesday said parents were free to pack condoms for their children in schoolbags, but would not allow condoms to be openly distributed at schools.
Responding 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 children, the minister said parents should educate their children on reproductive issues.
Dokora said it was parents’ responsibility as guardians to take part in sex education of their children.
“The family as a unit is inseparable from the education of our children,” he said.
“The fundamental role of parents remains in place and cannot be replaced by teachers.
“We must say children are in school to learn and be initiated for certain skills for life. When it comes to condoms, you are the guardian of your child and you must have an intimate connection with the child so that when you pack their school luggage and prepare their books you can also pack condoms.”
Dokora said he would not allow condom distribution in schools, although they promoted 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, 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 indicates that sex education is important in schools,” she asked.
But Dokora said there was no link between sex education and poor results.
Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi said it was not good to encourage parents to pack condoms for schoolchildren.
“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’ Levels and I said we do not separate parents from the education system,” Dokora responded.
“The school system will not deliver condoms as it is a value system in the domestic space by parents.