The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Parents Should Open Up to Their Children About Sex Education

editorial

THE head teacher of Groupe Scolaire (GS) Nsinda in Rwamagana district has been suspended following reports that 26 of his students were found to be pregnant.

The teens were either found to be pregnant or recently gave birth while at school. Some of the pregnancies were linked to teachers who are supposed to be the custodians of these girls. This unfortunate incident is a wakeup call. Parents should not burry their heads and assume there is nothing their teens are up to while in school. They need to focus on the reality that some teens are involved in relationships while at school or might be lured into relationships.

However, such relationships may be damaging. For them, it may mean sexual intercourse and yet this isn't the principle of relationships at this level. Relationships for students should be for academic purposes and extra co-curricular activities.

When they engage in romantic relationships, this has negative effects on students, like falling grades. In some cases (sexual), it may lead to contraction of HIV/Aids, other sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Schools should prohibit intimate relationships.

Schools should develop guidance and counseling services, conducted on a regular basis, to equip students with life skills like abstinence and handling volatile relationships. Parents should give schools a helping hand. They should create a bond with their teenage children. Once this bond is created they will be in position to know what their children are up to and will be in position to know what is happening to them and advise them on the dangers of involving in relationships while in school.

School administrators, too, must take full responsibility for the safety and well-being of children while at school. The consequences of not doing their job as expected of them are dire.

Above all, those responsible for luring teens, particularly girls, into such irresponsible and dangerous behaviours should be held accountable.

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