DepEd mulls annual drug test for teachers, students
The Department of Education (DepEd) is “seriously considering” to conduct an annual drug test for teachers and some students but with the consent of the latter’s parents, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Monday.
Briones also said the DepEd is also reviewing the possibility of mentioning the drug issue in the curriculum of Grade 4 students as part of their Science and Health subjects.
Briones made the announcement during a Senate finance subcommittee’s deliberations on the DepEd’s proposed P566-billion budget for 2017.
“We are a very, very large sector so we have to look into this issue. So it’s not only improving the curriculum but making it much alive and much more effective,” she told senators.
There are 722,000 teachers and 25 million students in the country, according to Briones.
She noted that the drug menace has also affected schools, with “drugs delivered in gates of school buildings.”
“We can’t claim to be excluded and protected from the drug menace itself,” the education secretary said.
Briones said the education sector wanted to make a “contribution” to the government’s campaign against drugs and that “we recognize we have to start on our learners and teachers.”
She said the drug test for students would be for “sampling basis” and “with the consent of their parents.”
Private organizations and the Philippine National Police have offered to conduct briefings on the drug issue for students and Briones said these have to be organized so that children will not be “overloaded” with information.
She also said they were interested in drug rehabilitation centers since a study showed that a “substantial number who are arrested (for drug use) are young people out of school and maybe a few who are in school.” RAM/rga
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