via Schools to have survey on sex, drugs: Dokora – NewZimbabwe 31/01/2016
EDUCATION minister Lazarus Dokora says Zimbabwe will soon be conducting a “controversial” global health survey with the aim of drafting a national schools health policy.
Dokora made the announcement last week in a speech which was read on his behalf by Jacob Gonese-a Principal Director in the Primary and Secondary Education Ministry-at the official launch of the country report on Global Youth Tobacco Survey in Harare.
The survey, according to Dokora, will include 10 modules conducted in between 50-70 schools randomly selected from all the country’s 8 200 primary and secondary schools.
“These modules will include Alcohol use, Dietary behaviour, Drug use, Hygiene, Mental health, Physical activity, Protective factors which is quite a sensitive topic in most countries, Sexual behaviour that contributes to HIV infection ,Sexually Transmitted Infections and unwanted pregnancies ,Tobacco, Violence and unintended injury,” said Dokora.
“I am aware that some of the topics may cause discomfort in some quarters of our society but these are day to day issues which affect not only learners but the adult population as well,” he added.
In the recent years, a heated debate has ensued with the HIV/AIDS activists suggesting that contraceptives be introduced in schools and other public places such as churches.
Although it was unanimously agreed that school children were indulging in sex from as early as 12 years, most parents however felt that such a move would promote rather than eliminate unwanted behaviour.
Dokora said Zimbabwe was determined to institute the survey despite the sensitivity it raised in line with the World Health Organisation’s requirements.
“The obvious benefits will accrue as these surveys will inform the draft school health policy which is under consideration in my ministry,” said Dokora.