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Drugs, sex top school offences

Maciu Malo
Thursday, May 16, 2013

STATISTICS released by the Education Ministry revealed that an average of 63 primary schools in the country report cases of students' involvement in drugs, substance abuse and sexual offences each year.

And in another alarming revelation, the ministry said between 2009 and 2011 a total of 72 high school pregnancy cases were recorded.

During this same period, reports received from high schools around the country registered 215 sexual offences, 54 marijuana cases and 522 incidents of smoking.

The high school offence list during this time included 212 cases of inhalers, 268 cases of alcohol use and 369 cases of kava consumption.

This information was made known to students, parents and teachers attending a two-day government roadshow at Vatumali Government Station in Navosa.

National substance abuse education officer Josua Naisele said drugs and sex cases showed that some students were involved in criminal and illegal activities.

"The data was collected from school heads during our survey but we believe the figures are under reported," he said.

"The offences bring into question the role of parents and teachers in a child's upbringing.

"The ministry is very much concerned about the cases of drug and sexual offences committed in schools."

Mr Naisele said the ministry had trained teachers to specifically deal with the issue in an effort to make Fiji a drug-free nation.

"We are training teachers on the danger of drugs and how community members can work together to combat the issue.

"Schools have also been asked to come up with their own awareness programs.

"These programs should also address things such as poking and verbal abuse which are common in schools."

Mr Naisele said the use of marijuana by students was also a major problem in schools.

"Cases of students found in possession of marijuana were reported to police by their teachers."

He said the ministry was working closely with the police and other stakeholders to address the issue.

Police director operations and Deputy Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said students involved in illegal activities would be dealt with according to the law.


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