Friday, 25 April 2008 2:57 PM

Prostitution Concerns School Principals

A number of Honiara School Principals have called on the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association to assist them deal with the involvement of some of their young female students in prostitution activities now on the rise in Honiara.

While SINTA would not disclose those schools that have approached them for assistance on proactive measures such as counseling, SINTA has acknowledged that there is a problem that is causing concern.

"The fundamental problem is that many of those working in Honiara are supporting relatives on top of all their other financial commitments...they are finding it financially impossible to look after everyone," according to SINTA's Acting Industrial Relations Officer, Alick Sam.

"This situation is causing serious social problems for both Honiara families and rural children...this may force some of these young girls to engage in this illegal activity," said Sam. "When families have no money to adequately look after these additional rural children, these young and sometimes naive rural girls become easy victims to these prostitution activities in desperate bid to support themselves."

He said that SINTA would try their best to assist those schools that have appealed for help. As an immediate measure Sam said that SINTA is planning to organize workshops and special sessions which teachers, students, and parents could attend to focus on the area of counseling and on critical health issue such as HIV/AIDS.

Sam said that SINTA is now mobilizing the assistance of individuals who have had previous training under SINTA's training program on HIV/AIDS, supported by a regional teacher organization known as Council of Pacific Education (COPE) based in Fiji.

SINTA is also discussing with women's groups who have had training and experience on the area of counseling and HIV/AIDS information dissemination to assist SINTA run these proposed workshops.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province