MoE addresses drug-related matters in schools

April 2, 2024 6:37 am

[File Photo]

The Education Ministry is working on instituting robust blood and spot checks within school premises.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka initiated the idea this year, prompted by two separate occurrences of drug possession among students this year, highlighting the need for more strict measures.

Permanent Secretary Selina Kuruleca reveals that the Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Substance Abuse Advisory Council to address child protection issues and implement these measures effectively.

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Emphasizing the importance of thorough implementation, the PS states that progress is underway to realize these initiatives comprehensively.

“For example, you’re going to do spot checks, that’s a child protection issue. We need to make sure the SOP is in place. We’re going to do a blood test. It’s a medical procedure. How do you do that? All of this requires the consent of the child, all the parents in this case, because the child is 18.”

Kuruleca acknowledges the limitations of existing spot checks, citing their ineffectiveness in detecting illicit substances among students.

“But otherwise, a lot of the stuff, these children have become very, very clever, very creative in how they do these things. And because of that, we’re finding out. But spot checks haven’t really yielded the kind of things that we thought we would see.”

The Education Ministry emphasizes the crucial role of advocacy in combating drug-related issues within the educational landscape.