THE Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Ms Riziki Pembe Juma, says that ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) was taking long due to the persistence culture of shyness, secrecy and impracticability.
“We must end this habit of secrecy and impracticability to end GBV in our country. We need to protect women and children from all types of abuse,” the minister said here when opening a stakeholders’ workshop on improving school curriculum.
At the workshop held at ‘ Takwimu House’ in Mombasa area, Ms Juma said: “Some teachers and students have been perpetrators of abuse and tarnish the image of the education sector; therefore you must expose them.”
She said there had been noticeable progress in fighting GBV, but more concerted efforts were required to make Zanzibar a better place for women and children, as cases of beatings, rape and defilement were still reported, including in schools.
The minister said that since curriculum was a guiding tool, GBV issues can be included, considering the education policy and the position of the ministry on the vice.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Idrisa Muslim Hija, appealed to participants to plan well, with the focus of having better ways of controlling the abuse so that children, including those with special needs or disability can be protected.
The participants heard from an officer from Zanzibar AIDS Commission Ms Halima Ali Mohamed saying that more girls were at risk of contracting HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) because they were now engaging in anal sex to avoid becoming pregnant.
She said that according to UNICEF data, only 39.7 per cent of the sexually active youth had/has their sex while married, but the rest practiced sex outside marriage, thereby risking to contract HIV.
The stakeholders’ six-day workshop was organised by the Department of Inclusive education and life skills in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, with support from UNESCO.