The Ministry of Education has released guidelines on what is to be done if a learner is confirmed to be abusing drugs. Indiscipline and school unrest have largely been attributed to drugs and substance abuse among learners in primary and secondary schools.
Drug and Substance Abuse (DSA) is the excessive, inappropriate, or illegal use of substances or drugs through methods that are harmful and can alter the normal functioning of the body and can have secondary effects on others.
Categories of drugs commonly abused include hallucinogens, narcotics, alcohol, inhalants, tobacco products and psychotropic drugs.
These substances can be inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin, or dissolved under the tongue, causing changes in the body.
Drug and Substance Abuse (DSA) is a major global concern, and young people, both in school and out-of-school, are more vulnerable.
Steps to be taken if a learner is confirmed to be abusing drugs
- The school shall inform the parent/guardian as soon as possible.
- The learner shall be put in a guidance and counselling programme by the guidance and counselling teacher and/or referred to appropriate organisations, which provide professional counselling and rehabilitation services in consultation with parents/guardians.
- Schools shall document communication with the concerned learner and parents/guardians explaining the school re-entry policy.
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What is to be done if a learner is found to be engaging in drug trafficking.
In case a learner is found in possession of, or trafficking drugs/substance, the school management shall:
- Notify the parent/guardian of the learner.
- Notify relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Education Office, local administration, police and Children’s Department to handle the case in accordance with applicable laws.
- In collaboration with relevant authorities, support the learner in possession of drugs or substances to reveal the source(s) and name other accomplices.
See also; TSC latest guidelines on handling of teachers suffering from Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Re-entry of learners who dropped out of school due to Drug and Substance use
A learner shall be re-admitted to the school upon confirmation of rehabilitation and vetting.
In case of a relapse, a learner shall be allowed re-entry as long as she/he is within the mandatory schooling age.
The school shall provide the concerned learner and parents/guardians with necessary guidance.