There has always been the debate among scholars, politicians, religious people and society on a whole on whether to distribute condoms in the schools in Jamaica. No one seems to have
the perfect answer but there are convincing arguments from both sides of the issues to support their conclusions.
The deal is that children as young as 12 years old are showing up at health centers with sexually transmitted diseases (STD). We all agree that for these children to have these diseases they must be engaging in sexual activities. The question is who is having sexual relationship with these children? You can almost guarantee that in many of these cases the sexual partner is not 12 years old.
Many believe that to issue condoms to young children in school is like an endorsement of sexual activities. This we can understand. Knowing how our young people think, they may believe that the teachers are saying that it is o.k. for them to have sexual encounters. On the other hand other people also believe that the children are going to engage anyway so why not prevent the spreading of disease or unwanted pregnancy by issuing the condoms. It is really a no win argument.
The best way out of this dilemma is really to educate our young people about sexual responsibility and the importance of abstinence until they reach that wonderful age. However, this in itself may be a great challenge for a country, which is lacking of resources. With the conditions of some of our schools and a demoralize staff, we are just barely making it teaching ABC. Also with the moral decadence that our society has fallen into most young people would just laugh at the abstinence philosophy.
This is not another burden to put on our church. Our church leaders have their hands full trying to explain why Jamaica has so many churches and yet so much corruption. Whenever something is going wrong in our society we turn to the church for the answer, forgetting that most young people in Jamaica do not strive on the philosophy of the church. The local Dj’s have more influence on the young minds than the local preachers. This is not exclusive to Jamaica. In the USA the Rappers enjoy the same privileges.
On the condom thing, to tell you the truth I really do not know the answer. Maybe we should just put the condom machines beside the coke and cookie machines and let the youngsters decide.