[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health yesterday concluded a two-day Drug Prevention Education workshop which targeted teachers throughout the regions who participated in intense training to identify and offer assistance to students who are victims of drug abuse.
At the workshop held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Senior Guidance and Counselling Officer, Ministry of Education, Mercylene Moses, explained that the seminar was organised based on numerous reports that the ministry had received with regards to subsistence abuse in school.
She said that the aim is to equip teachers with the necessary skills which will allow them to create a child-friendly atmosphere, to be able to work with the students and their parents. Moses added that parental involvement is the approach to be used to help tackle this issue, as eventually the programme will be extended to the parents to increase their knowledge to deal with the issue.
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a substance (drug) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others.
“Sometimes you would hear that a student is found with drugs and one is not sure where it came from so we have to use our competencies to be able to work with them and not make them fearful,” Moses noted.
When a child is found with drugs, the Police become involved; however the child is not put before the courts, but usually goes through counselling.
Moses said that the programme currently targets the public schools, however if the private schools indicate that they require such training it will be made available to them.
Meanwhile, Coordinator of Phoenix Recovery Project, Drug Recovery programme, Clerence Young said that the programme is significant, in that there is need not just to reach the students, but the entire population because subsistence abuse respects no barriers.
While the progamme is designed primarily to assist teachers to offers assistance to students, it offers an opportunity for them to assist colleagues and family members. [Extracted and modified from GINA]