THE Ministry of Public Education on Monday announced another tool to combat increasing drug use and violence in the country’s schools.
The ministry said it plans to distribute guides covering those topics, published with the help of a private donation, to high-school students throughout the country.
In 2003, administrators dealt with 5,311 students for the use of drugs, according to a statement from the ministry. While the number was similar in 2002, the ministry reported only 2,811 cases in 2001.
The new guides, which include a teacher’s manual, will bring increased structure to the discussion of drug use and prevention, Education Minister Manuel Antonio Bolaños said this week.
The guide for students of seventh, eighth and ninth grades is a revised version of a program presented to students last year. Students offered input to include more activities related to real-life situations in the new manual, the minister explained.
The guide for 10th and 11th graders focuses mainly on alcohol use, based on the premise that prevention should begin with legal substances that can lead to the use of other drugs, according to the ministry.
Bolaños said new policies allowing administrators to search students’ backpacks (TT Daily Page, Feb. 26) have had “lamentable success.”
“It is a shame that teachers and administrators have not found only weapons in students’ backpacks, but also drugs, cocaine,” he said.