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Alarm over rampant drug abuse in schools

Drugs and substance abuse in learning institutions has been cited as a major cause of indiscipline and school unrest.

Some of these unrests have led to loss of life and property in addition to unwarranted closure and loss of valuable learning time.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said pupils start abusing drugs from an early age; some as young as 13 years old, with the most common sources of drugs being kiosks, shops and bars near schools, friends, other students or school workers.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Education Director Dr. William Sugut, during celebrations to mark the World Catholic Education Day in Kajiado, Kipsang noted that pupils abuse drugs mainly due to peer pressure, indiscipline, ignorance on the dangers of drug abuse and curiosity.

“Studies carried out have shown that almost every Kenyan youngster at one time or another experiments with drugs especially alcohol, cigarettes and other substances,” he said.

The PS added that a significant number of young people who abuse drugs at an early age eventually get addicted posing as a threat to their own well-being and that of the community.

He revealed that the government has taken strict measures aimed at mitigating drug and substance abuse in schools among them introduction of school –based education for drug abuse prevention in conjunction with key players such as National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug abuse.

Bishop John Obala, Catholic Diocese of Ngong, reiterated that alcohol and drug abuse was rampant in learning institutions and it has resulted in indiscipline among learners.

“I would like to tell young people that drugs kill. Drugs will wreck your life, affect your performance and brain function and make you irresponsible,” said Bishop Obala.

He advised the learners to seek good company and associate with people who will instill good morals in them and help them grow.

The Bishop further advised those who were already addicted to drugs to seek help so that they could be rehabilitated.

He emphasized that the Catholic Church through its schools was committed to supporting the government in fulfilling its mandate of empowering children through education.

During the celebrations themed ‘Walking together in faith and love; confronting the drug abuse menace in learning institutions for better learning environment’, the best Catholic schools and pupils in the county during last year’s national examinations were awarded certificates and trophies.

By Rop Janet

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