Shocking sights in schools
Updated: 2012-08-28 08:02
I have seen high schools in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, both in Guangdong province, with condom-vending machines at their gates. Though the schools are both for boys and girls, the students studying there are only 12-to-15-year olds.
The school in Guangzhou has more than 2,000 children, while the one in Shenzhen has over 1,600. I asked the school security guards about the machines but they didn't know what to say and just laughed embarrassingly.
Needless to say the sight of the condom-vending machines on the school campuses where adolescents study came as a rude shock to me.
What could this mean? Does China have a teenage pregnancy problem? It's difficult to say.
While China is working hard to tackle problems of the birth rate and spread of HIV/AIDS, the condom-vending machines show that sometimes some of the precautionary measures are in the wrong direction. Let's hope Chinese culture will help prevent the country from sleepwalking into a nightmare full of teenage pregnancies.
Navjot Singh, via e-mail
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(China Daily 08/28/2012 page9)