Students have come out in protest of the shortage of condoms in schools, as a way of HIV-Aids prevention.
The scholars, from a technical school in Runda, Kamonyi District (French acronym ISETAR) hailed the sex-education classes they now regularly receive through the recently instituted Anti-Aids Clubs, but decried the lack of condom supply in schools to help curb the spread of the scourge.
It was also revealed by the students that school authorities frowned upon the idea of selling condoms in the school snack-shop, and students caught in possession of condoms were punished and even expelled.
The students explained that due to various factors such as youthful curiosity or peer pressure, many of them find themselves in situations where they are engaging in sexual encounters at an early age, and a lack of condoms forces them to engage in unprotected sex, which results in unwanted pregnancies and exchange of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs or STIs) and HIV-Aids.
The students have called on the Health and Education Ministries to collaborate and make condoms easily available in schools in order to combat the afore-mentioned issues. The call comes as students have had to go outside the school compound to buy condoms in shops, often having to leave without permission to do this.
Education officials in the District Office, including one Uwamahoro Fidele, when quizzed on the issue stressed that Ministry of Education policy states that students should not be given condoms, since such action would be seen as encouraging them to engage in pre-marital sex, and instead effort should be put into sensitizing them to abstain altogether.
He however acknowledged that a policy shift may be needed, since abstaining is proving to be difficult for students, evidenced by the almost 30 cases of high-school girls becoming pregnant in Kamonyi District alone in 2012.