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    September 18

  • 12:29 PM

Antigua minister: No condoms in schools

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 01 March 2011

drjacquiquinnleandroantigua

Antigua and Barbuda’s Education Minister Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has disagreed with a suggestion by a representative of the St. Lucia-based Educational International for condoms to be distributed in schools as part of the battle against the spread of HIV/ AIDS “The distribution of condoms in schools will certainly not be a part of any policy in Antigua & Barbuda. The ministry will never endorse any policy of giving condoms to children,” Quinn-Leandro said in an interview published with the Daily Observer newspaper. Coordinator of Educational International, Virginia Albert-Poyette, made the call at a workshop where representatives of 12 regional teacher trade unions conducted an evaluation of a five-year project on HIV and AIDS and education for all. Albert-Poyette said the issue must be tackled, since advocating that students exercise safe sex or abstinence could not be considered a guarantee. She also said the authorities have a responsibility to formulate policy on such issues. But Quinn-Leandro said as a Christian society, talks about pre-marital sex will be a “no-no” for students. She also said schools here will continue to promote abstinence. “Children are children and there should be no sex while in school. Sex is for adults and we will not be condoning children having sex, not while I’m minister of education,” Dr Quinn-Leandro said. “We are going to continue promoting abstinence until the cows come home because abstinence is the right message for children. Who don’t want to promote abstinence, then that is up to them but we will not be weary in well doing,” she added. Albert-Poyette had argued for a holistic look at students’ sexual activities. See also: School no place for condoms   (CMC)

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