Students welcome push for safe sex
The National Health Security Office (NHSO) began handing out contraceptive pills on Feb 1, and it is planning to provide free condoms for youngsters aged 15 and above in April.
The idea is to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Sirikanya Yuttaart, an 18-year-old high school student in Nakhon Ratchasima, said she supported the policy as it would help keep youths safe.
In addition to protection, she also wants the government to provide sex education.
"It doesn't matter if we have free condoms or birth control pills if people do not have proper sexual knowledge. Sooner or later we will face the same problems of unwanted sex, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases," she said.
Today many students search for information on the internet. It may lead them to misinformation or situations where they do not know what to do, she said.
Natthanicha Poolchalerm, 18, another high school student in Nakhon Ratchasima, said she learned about sex education from social media such as TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.
"On TikTok, there is a pharmacist named 'Doctor Noo' who gives me information on how to use condoms, when to take birth control pills, how to calculate the menstrual cycle and a lot more," she said.
Pakinee Wongkum, 34, a teacher and mother in Nakhon Ratchasima said she agreed with the government's policy. At her school, classes teach students about safe sex and biology.
But some members of the older generation regard the topic as taboo because it's embarrassing and personal.
They think giving free contraceptive pills and condoms to youngsters is inappropriate because it will encourage them to have more sex, she said.