‘We at WMACA don’t believe that the Catholic church or any religious leaders should dictate policies to the Department of Education – we are a secular society!’, says Vincentia Dlamini-Ngobese, WMACA Spokesperson!
Cardinal Wilfred Napier, head of the Catholic church in SA, has dismissed the plan to distribute free condoms by the KwaZulu-Natal education department as “short-sighted” and “immoral” and “No condoms would be distributed at schools built on Catholic Church property”, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
‘As an organisation defending the rights of children we believe that by not providing condoms we are not taking care of children’s sexual health and well-being’, says Vincentia.
‘We agree with MEC Senzo Mchunu’s decision which followed a conference last month to find solutions to sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse in the province.
Distributing free condoms is not about condoning sexual activity nor will it increase sexual activity but rather offer a safe option for those students who are sexually active and therefore, should practice safe sex.
However, condoms distributed on their own are not the solution. The Education department must also ensure holistic educational programmes engaging children on appropriate healthy sexual activity promoting abstinence at the same time. Contraception is not the only resource that should be freely accessible o learners – what about better equipped libraries, sport facilities, computer and science labs.
Our teenagers need an effective and quality education that helps them to value their bodies, protect their wellbeing, and prepare them to make sensible and responsible life choices. Moral children in turn will become, to a greater extent, moral parents and the cycle will perpetuate. This will make for a morally-conscious society, the benefits of which are self-evident. At no cost should we give up on weaving morality into our national fabric.
Parents need to invest and play a more active role in the lives of their children and teachers need to educate their learners correctly. An earnest effort should be made by every citizen to re-establish the moral code of conduct regarding males and females in homes and society, in rural settlements and urban areas.
“Once something is distributed by people in authority, children take it as an okay. I cannot understand the lack of insight into the psychological damage that is being done to the younger generation,” Napier told the Sunday Times.
If the catholic church could guarantee non abusive clergy, some who have caused untold psychological damage to children over the centuries by molesting and raping them – if the church and all other religious leaders could guarantee perfect adult role models, espousing this ideal of abstinence they might be able to make a difference to learners to motivate them to follow suit.
Again today we see another international scandal emerge from the Catholic church in its pursuit to elect a new Pope. Cardinal Keith O’Brien Archbishop of Scotland was dismissed with immediate effect by the Pope – molesting student priests – he was in close ties with Jimmy Savell, infamous BBC pedophile, ordained by the Catholic church.
The question to ask – if the church and religious leaders are not wanting to follow the South African school set up – then what is their angle in light of the pervasive sexual pathology that is evident in the catholic church and other religious institutions– when the issues of sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse arise in their schools – how will they manage these issues?