Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has warned its partners in the Southern Region to stop distributing condoms in schools, saying this is contrary to their policies.
Speaking during the official opening of a three-day workshop on Tuesday organised by Family Health International (FHi 360) in Balaka, the ministry’s director for secondary and distance education Chikondano Mussa said some partners distribute condoms to pupils in primary and secondary schools.
He said such partners think that is the best way to protect learners from contracting HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
“In the classrooms, we preach about abstinence and if we go around encouraging distribution of condoms, we may be contradicting ourselves,” she said.
Mussa called for coordination among stakeholders in addressing issues affecting girls that force them to drop out from school.
She further urged chiefs to be determined in ensuring that they end practices that promote transmission of HIV in their communities such as defilement, rape and early marriages.
Paramount Chief Kawinga said girls face many challenges that limit their access to education.
He said many of them are dropping out of school before they reach secondary level because of early marriages and pregnancies.
In her speech, Dreams Innovations Challenge project coordinator Mary Mittochi said their organisation is striving to reduce HIV cases among adolescent girls by bringing together stakeholders implementing similar projects in Zomba and Machinga to come up with one action plan.
She said the only way girls can avoid contracting HIV is through education, adding that they are in the forefront working with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to address the challenges