The Western Cape education Department has raised the alarm bells after drug testing of students revealed truly worrying results. Drugs keep causing chaos.
Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schafer has expressed her concern after drug tests in the province’s schools came back with alarming results. What’s even more worrying, the problem is in both primary and high schools.
A statement from the Western Caped Education Department (WCED) revealed that drug tests from various schools during the first half of 2017 have come back with the majority of results showing positive for drug useage.
A total of 360 primary school learners from 36 schools were tested, 229 tested positive. 605 high school learners from 17 school were tested, 415 tested positve.
Tests were only conducted on learners who had been previously suspected of drug useage.
Schafer says she has been left shocked by the results.
“Safe and secure learning environments are essential if we are to ensure that quality education is delivered. It is imperative that our schools remain drug free.
It is therefore vital that parents, community members and learners are aware of the programmes and support mechanisms on offer to deal with such a scourge.
Most drug use takes place at home or within the community. But, the sad reality is that some learners do come to school in possession of or under the influence of illegal drugs.”
WCED says that the use of drugs makes it common for SAPS/ City Law Enforcement being called upon to conduct random search and seizure operations at schools. This is done to deter learners from bringing weapons and drugs onto school premises.
“If the learner has tested positive for alcoholic liquor or illegal drugs, a discussion must be held with the parent so that he or she may understand the consequences of the use of alcoholic liquor or illegal drugs.”
“The principal may, if the parent so requests, refer the learner to a rehabilitation institution for drug counselling.”
Schafer also confirmed that only the learner and his or her parents must be informed about the outcome of the alcohol or drug test.
WCED are currently working on the Safe Schools substance abuse programme, the programe aims to deal with learners who are under the influence or at risk of substance abuse. The training programme includes basic information on drug detection techniques, peer counselling and specialised fields of drug control.
“The key goal of the programme is to capacitate our educators with the tool of drug testing so as to ensure that learners who experiment with substances are detected early and that they will be placed in developmental programmes to address the abuse of substances.”