Teacher unions split over drug use
June 26, 2019 4:40 pm
Fijian Teachers Association General Secretary Paula Manumanunitoga [left] and Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary Agni Deo Singh
There have been contradicting views from the Teachers Unions on the expulsion of students found with drugs in schools.
Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary Agni Deo Singh says students who are found with drugs should not be expelled.
“We must not expel students who are using or carrying drugs, we need to assist them, counsel them, rehabilitate them and get them back into the mainstream.”
However, Fijian Teachers Association General Secretary Paula Manumanunitoga says that the Ministry needs to relook at its measures of discipline.
“We need to have a relook at discipline, the way we discipline in schools, we need to revise the policy, we need to just stop introducing the policies that have come from overseas and we need to introduce. We need to contextualize it.”
Both associations highlighted that there need to be qualified counsellors in schools in order to address this issue effectively.
Earlier Permanent Secretary Alison Burchell says they have made it clear that it does not want to expel any student because this would mean that the system has failed that student.
She adds the Ministry wants to institute a process of positive discipline to guide students back on the straight and narrow, so they can learn from their mistakes.
The PS has also made it clear that issues relating to drugs should not be dealt with at the school level and must be reported by the head of school to Police as soon as possible.
1,634 drug-related cases involving students were recorded in 2018.