Govt urged to up fight against drug abuse in schools

Spread This News

By Staff Reporter

SPOTLIGHT on the fight against drug and substance abuse should not only shine on private schools, but should be extended to all learning institutions, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has said.

The civil servants representative comments came after the announcement that Dominican Convent Harare, an elite Catholic school had chucked out eight girls for drug and substance related offenses.

ARTUZ said the most worrying part was that drug abuse has haunted schools since the early 2000s and the government has not been taking substantive actions to deal with it.

“Drug lords and dealers are walking scot-free in the neighborhoods and often capture police through bribery. The drug pandemic is killing our children and destroying their future which calls for firm and urgent action,” ARTUZ said.

“It is important to understand that in elite schools it is easy to deal with it because they have resources but the crisis hurts more in high density suburbs where the students meet the drug dealers after school. Poor children can’t afford rehabilitation services provided by private actors.”

The union blasted the government’s ineffective approach in handling drug related issues in marginalised communities saying public schools were left vulnerable.

ARTUZ urged school authorities to seek assistance while offering counselling to delinquent students.

“We also note that these cases have always surfaced but schools sweep them under the carpet.

Which is why most learners involved in drug abuse do not get rehabilitation or correctional services.

“They are either expelled or suspended from school but without counseling of any sort which leaves them with chances of doing it again.”

According to ARTUZ, the government must establish rehabilitation centers and rein in drug dealers and drug barons in different neighborhoods.

The union added that parent should take an active part in reporting drug dealers.

ARTUZ said law enforcement officers complicit in drug trafficking be investigated and arrested.