Schools urged to enforce anti-drug policies
Maxwell Tapatapa Herald Reporter
Schools must fully implement policies to stop drug and substance abuse by pupils since cases of misuse of illicit substances are on the increase, Director of Communication and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro has said.
The growing incidence of drug abuse among school children was worrying, hence the ministry has directed school officials to act.
“We have actually given a directive to all our schools to have a policy against the use of illicit drugs and intoxicating substances,” he said. “Our heads have been at the forefront of trying to at least exclude some of the offending learners from classes.
“Those who continuously take intoxicating substances are excluded from normal classes after thorough sessions on guidance and counselling to try and bring them back to a clear path of receiving quality education that is beneficial to our socio-economic development.
“The situation in terms of drugs is a bit worrying in some of our schools, particularly those that are in urban and peri-urban areas. It has been noted that learners that have finished writing examinations are among the worst abusers of drugs, but even those that are still taking examinations are also involved in substance abuse.”
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has stepped up efforts in containing drug abuse through guidance and counselling sessions.
Mr Ndoro called for collaborative efforts with parents and guardians to protect learners from drug abuse, especially this festive season as teenagers tend to abuse drugs during school holidays.
“We want our parents and guardians to assist us in making sure that learners who are going back to school next year are not involved in substance abuse. We need to ensure that our pupils master the art of rising above these unpleasant desires so that we can eradicate the problem of drug and substance abuse,” he said.
“The solution is to come together as a community, society, nation and educate all our pupils and youths that the use of these illicit drugs and intoxicating substances deters their intended contribution to national development.
“The use of drugs negatively impacts on our Vision 2030 of trying to attain a prosperous and empowered middle income economy because when someone gets addicted to these drugs, they do not contribute meaningfully to national development.”