A top regional official of Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) has told a section of the media that drug and alcohol use and suicides are some of the social issues currently plaguing the region.
Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford pointed to the many social issues affecting students and the need for sustained efforts in helping them change their behaviour by adopting more positive lifestyle attitudes.
“The teachers are trying, but the children get out of hand. The alcohol and the marijuana [are] being used in the schools,” one resident said.
Chairman Bradford acknowledged that in the region, the problems were well-known. “That is something that happens all over this country. We have had reports of children using alcohol, other drugs, reports of children attempting suicide … I don’t think that’s any secret.”
The Regional Chairman, however, emphasised that the Education Ministry has been in collaboration with the Public Health Ministry to take steps to intervene to reduce the incidence of alcohol and drug use in the school system.
“I know that the Minister of [Public] Health with a team of specialists had visited the secondary school system in Bartica and they had made interventions,” Bradford stated.
The Chairman further stated that he was recently introduced to a counsellor, who had been transferred from Berbice to Bartica to work with the schools for a certain period.