DepEd: Less than 1% of students confirmed positive for drug use
Pasig City (13 February) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) clarifies that only less than one percent of public school students were found positive for drug use and not 10 percent as indicated in earlier reports.
The results of the only random drug test, which was conducted in school year 2005-2006 revealed that out of the 8,670 students tested, only 67 students or 0.77 percent were confirmed positive. Fifty students or 75% of the 67 students came from public schools.
"To address this issue, we at the Department are implementing educational programs that will intensify the government's anti-drug campaign," Undersecretary for Regional Operations Ramon Bacani said.
Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 forms the legal basis for formulating educational programs for the prevention of drug abuse. In consonance with RA 9165 is DepEd Order No.5, s. 2003, which contains the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9165.
The said DepEd Order emphasizes Article III which is relative to the random drug testing of secondary students and Article IV which contains provisions on the participation of the family, students, teachers and school authorities in the enforcement of the Republic Act.
"The alarming issue of drug abuse among public school students is not a concern of DepEd alone," Bacani said. "We encourage other education stakeholders - the parents, the entire community - to work with us in drug prevention," he added.
Furthermore, according to the Department's Health and Nutrition Center (HNC) Director Thelma Santos, the ten per cent figure was the result of a survey on drug use conducted in both public and private schools way back in 1989. It asked the randomly selected participants whether or not they have at least tried using drugs.
Part of DepEd's responsibility is to strengthen the National Drug Education Program (NDEP) which was designed to enable all sectors to collaborate with the school.
NDEP aims to prevent drug abuse among students in basic education through the development of values, attitudes, and practices. It also works to maximize utilization of school resources which can contribute to the child's cognitive, affective and psychomotor development relative to drug abuse prevention.
It also seeks to strengthen parent and community participation through linkages with multisectoral organizations involved in the anti-drug abuse campaign. By providing in-service training to teachers and other school officials, young people can enhance their life skills which can lead to the prevention of drug abuse.
DepEd also advises guidance centers, school clinics, students' organizations, scouting and other youth clubs and projects to promote drug abuse prevention activities. (DepEd) [top]