School sex video a wake-up call

School sex video a wake-up call

Last week social media was in a frenzy. At the centre of the turmoil was “Phiri”, a man that took social media by storm as a sex video in which he featured with some girl went spiral.
When I got a chance to view the notorious video I was shocked to the core. The reason being that the first thing I noticed was a sexual encounter with a young school going girl that was not safe, the male in the video did not use a condom.

Failure to use a condom to me says that there is imminent danger of unplanned pregnancy and of catching the HI Virus.
It’s not long ago when the Minister of Health was lamenting the overcrowding at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial caused by illicit abortions that had been carried out by mostly young women.
But the minister’s concerns seem not to have reached the correct audience as young girls still engage in unprotected sex and film such acts to share on social media.
Also, Lesotho is notorious for very high statistics when it comes to the HIV pandemic. In fact, we have moved from being number three at 23 percent to being the second highest with a whopping 25 percent in HIV statistics.

But these statistics do not say anything to young girls that find it amusing to film themselves having unprotected sex. From the voices on the video, the girl has an idea that not using protection could lead to HIV infection but that does not deter her anyway.
The Lesotho Education Sector HIV and AIDS Policy (2012), a very well written policy that is gathering dust somewhere on the shelves of the Ministry of Education and Training, states in its preamble that, the Ministry of Education and the wider education sector in the Kingdom of Lesotho have a particularly important role to play in responding to, and reversing, the impact of the HIV and AIDS.

The Ministry of Education is the nations’ largest employer and leads a sector which plays a unique and sustained role in the lives of Lesotho’s young people.
Thus the education sector has an obligation to protect its own employees and help the so-called ‘generation of hope’ to maintain their HIV-negative status.
The policy preamble further declares that education has a unique capacity to influence the lives and attitudes of Basotho, provide the knowledge and skills required to safeguard those uninfected by HIV and counsel and support those learners, teachers and support staff infected and affected by HIV.

The preamble gives a detailed encounter of how education, with particular reference to schools, can be used to curb the HIV pandemic that is troubling our country.
Unfortunately as I have already mentioned the policy has been turned into a white elephant as until now, six years after being developed it has still not been disseminated to schools where teachers could guide the learners on how best to protect themselves and those around them from the pandemic.
The Tšepo Christian High school incident needs to be a wake-up call to the Ministry of Education that our “so-called generation of hope” is just too vulnerable and that without proper guidance they are doomed.

There is need for extensive training of teachers on issues of comprehensive sexual education if indeed we are to overcome unplanned pregnancies and HIV infections amongst our teenagers.
The trending video by the school students is an indication that more ground still needs to be covered to ensure the safety of our young people and to protect and promote their sexual and reproductive health rights.

There is still a certain level of ignorance among teenagers that needs to be weeded out by the roots for us as a nation to reach our goal of an HIV free generation by the year 2030.
Botswana successfully used schools to curb its HIV prevalence and they have since seen positive results as their prevalence rate dropped. Before 2014, Botswana had the second highest HIV incidence rates.

Now Lesotho has since overtaken it as. This is because Botswana has made remarkable strides in combating the pandemic.
The notorious video should spur the Ministry of Education into serious action of ensuring that they live up to the goal of the policy which is for the education sector to prevent further spread of the epidemic, ensuring access to treatment and support services, and reducing the impact of HIV and AIDS on education through the development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of comprehensive response at all levels of the education system.

It is the duty and responsibility of the ministry to ensure that policies it has developed are effectively implemented so that they bring a positive change to the lives of those that they are aimed at.
It is the duty of the Ministry of Education to ensure that the Tšepo Christian School incident does not repeat itself at another school.

By: Kelello Rakolobe

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