Schools get drug-testing kits

The Eastern Cape Department of Education yesterday distributed 100 drug-testing kits to 20 schools in the northern areas and plans to deploy patrollers to combat gangsterism and the selling of drugs at schools.

Teachers will be trained to use the kits and parents informed that their children could be tested if they are suspected of using drugs.

The launch of the department’s Drug and Substance Abuse Intervention Programme took place at St Thomas High School in Gelvandale yesterday.

Education MEC Mandla Makupula said that while drug and substance abuse did not originate at schools, it had an increasing, devastating impact on schools and the lives of teachers and pupils, and led to high failure and dropout rates.

“As the department we are focusing on these social evils by making school safety, sport and other school programmes our priority and encouraging learners to actively participate,” Makupula said.

“As the department we can build fences but this does not keep out the drugs. We want to win over our communities and reclaim our schools.

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