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Introduction of chapters on drug abuse in school

By Sanjoy ray

GUWAHATI, May 25 - Taking its fight against drug addiction a step further, law-enforcers, including the Assam Police and the Narcotics Control Bureau, Assam, have vouched for the introduction of dedicated chapters on drug abuse in the school syllabus.

In a close-door meeting on drug abuse held recently, suggestions to include chapters on drug abuse in the school curriculum were made by various agencies including the representative of an NGO running a de-addiction centre here.

Preetam Saikia, Commissioner and Secretary, Education Department, who was also present in the meeting, said that he would take up the matter, and added that some changes have already been made in the new inspection format for schools to make them more accountable.

He also said that the department would coordinate with the Health Department to see if periodic health check-up sessions could be conducted to prevent drug abuse among students at a nascent stage, especially at the upper primary and secondary levels.

Sources told this reporter that the heads of schools, especially upper primary and secondary schools, would also be entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out regular awareness sessions with the help of the local police stations.

�Children are the most vulnerable ones when it comes to drug addiction. We feel that if the awareness level is increased at the school level itself, the menace of drug abuse will be largely contained,� a senior Education Department official said.

�We would take up the issue with the Health Department soon. If we really want to control the menace from the grassroot level, schools will have to be brought into the scheme of things,� the official pointed out.

Parents and teachers will also be made part of the sessions which may now be a regular feature in all the educational institutions.

Sources also divulged that the department would also rope in some NGOs to fight the menace at the school level. �There are a few NGOs already working in this field. We plan to go in an organised and concerted manner this time around,� the sources stated.

In the meeting, the Commissioner of Guwahati Police, Mukesh Agarwal, called for the introduction of awareness sessions in schools during the morning assembly and had even offered his cooperation in this regard.

Drug abuse among children, especially the underaged, has been on the rise, especially among school drop-outs.

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