a�?I am a teenage girl aged 17 and I have a lover aged 21, and we always indulge in sex. But the problem is that he refuses to use protection as he says I do not love him,a�? says Diana Msimanga(not her real name).
Then this becomes the point of departure on this much deliberated topic.
When should one start indulging? Is there a specific age that a youth should start indulging?
These questions prove that sex education could be vital to youths. Although some form of sex education is part of the curriculum at many schools, it remains a contentious issue in social circles and in some schools, particularly with regard to the age at which children should start receiving such education.
For the past two years there has been a protracted debate going on between the National Aids Council (NAC) and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on whether condoms should be distributed to schools or not.
Despite the strong argument by NAC about the growing number of schoolchildren indulging in sex at tender ages, the ministry had its own good reasons hence the failure.
As contentious as the topic is, some strongly believe that sex education could promote promiscuity among youths, considering that most of them are sexually active.
Some argue that peer pressure will take its toll and docile peers will be influenced to experiment what has been taught.
a�?Just imagine a Form One student being taught how to use a condom. Does he/she have the capacity to handle that information?a�? Jabulani Mhlanga a youth activist questions.
A former broadcast journalist weighed in with advice urging parents and guardians to take time with their children in as far as guiding them is concerned.
a�?Parents should be involved in this worthwhile exercise, why? They are uniquely suited to provide parental guidance to this on- going nerve breaking discussion; most of them spend most of the time with the childrena�?.
Further to that the powers that be in the ministry should hold workshops to equip the youth with necessary skills and knowledge. Teaching parents on how to effectively initiate, maintain and promote an ongoing discussion will serve to enhance the overall communication about other important topics such as drug abuse and peer pressure.
Mandlenkosi Sibanda, a sociology teacher at a local college concurred with the former jurnoa��s sentiments: a�?Family life educators could influence policy decision at schools and at ministry level by encouraging the adoption of sexuality education curriculum that promote parental involvement.a�?
Comprehensive sex education addresses both abstinence and age that is appropriate for indulging in sexual activity.
Comprehensive sex education is also developmentally appropriate as it introduces information on when one should engage in a relationship and skills building help a youth to resist peer pressure.
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