April 15, 2014 00:00 By Chuleeporn Aramnet The Nation
Ban Wang Daeng School in Sa Kaew's Wan Nam Yen district was recently hailed for cutting down on young pregnancies by installing a condom dispensing machine.
Sompong Jitradap, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of education, pointed out that installing the condom dispenser would help counter the problem of teenage pregnancies, which is on the rise among Thai students.
Efforts made by the Education Ministry and related agencies to solve this problem have not been successful because there have been no moves other than campaigns and meetings, Sompong said.
He noted that people should understand that installing a condom dispenser did not promote sex, because “this boat has already sailed”. Sompong said many lower secondary students now talked about boyfriends and girlfriends, while upper secondary girls were keen on beauty products and boys keen on sports and fist fighting.
He urged the Education Ministry to seriously address the problem of teenage pregnancy, and promote children’s interest in Thai culture and religion. Citing his discovery of the condom dispenser installed at Ban Wang Daeng School and its success in reducing teenage pregnancies, he said he had now changed from a naysayer to a believer.
He made the discovery while visiting 12 schools in the provinces to address education management issues.
He said the installation of the condom machine in the school had stemmed from a proposal from students, which proved that youngsters were already becoming responsible and knew that they should protect themselves.
Sompong said during the trip he learned that a girl as young as eight could get pregnant, while some 15-year-olds already had three children.