School governing bodies and parents will no longer be able to prevent pupils from getting condoms at schools, according to a new Basic Education Department policy, reports Bhekisisa.
Almost a quarter of all new HIV infections are among young women between the ages of 15 and 24, data from the Human Sciences Research Council show. But condoms have been largely absent from the one place where most young people spend much of their time: school.
Until now, policy allowed school governing bodies to develop their own plans to address HIV infections among pupils that took into “account the needs and values” of schools and communities. This allowed schools and community leaders to have the final say about whether condoms were available on school grounds – often a hard “no”.
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