By CHILA NAMAIKO –
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has called for more concerted efforts to deal with sexual reproductive health education in schools as a tool for curbing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and child marriages.
Dr Matibini said this was another topical and critical matter that was affecting society, especially that many scholars had emphasised that education was cardinal in national development.
He said this was because once citizens were educated, they would be in a position to make informed decisions or choices in their day-to-day activities.
“This topic is, therefore, important to us representatives of the people. We need to interrogate sexual reproductive health issues as they affect young people, and how the young people can be protected from STIs,” he said.
The Speaker said this in Lusaka yesterday at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch local seminar at Parliament Buildings attended by members of Parliament (MPs).
Dr Matibini said it was important young people were protected from STIs and
early marriages, if the country was to fully utilise their potential in contributing to national development.
The CPA Zambia Branch had identified three topical matters to be discussed, namely, the role of parliamentarians in implementing and monitoring policies relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the media’s role in promoting public mistrust of parliamentarians.
The other topic was introduction of sexual reproductive health education in schools as a tool for curbing STIs and early marriages.
Dr Matibini said such matters were important in promoting the country’s socio-economic development.
He said the role of parliamentarians in implementing and monitoring policies relevant to the SDGs was key because the goals set the tone and direction for Zambia’s development agenda in the next 15 years.
The SDGs also provide a platform for the world to ameliorate poverty and ensure that human dignity and human rights are respected.
The Speaker said that MPs, as initiators of legislation, would, therefore, play a key role in the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.
Dr Matibini said the media also played a vital role in shaping the public perception of MPs through information and education on various fundamental matters of human interest.
CPA regional representative for Central Africa Lazarous Bwalya said the purpose of the association was to assist member parliaments to promote the ideals of parliamentary democracy in the Commonwealth Charter.