Testing students for drugs gets more support from stakeholders

Soy MP Caleb Kositany speaking to Kaptebengwet Secondary School students after commissioning a school bus. PHOTO/Edmond Kipngeno, The Scholar Media Africa.

“Drug testing will be conducted in selected schools with long standing cases of unrest and destruction of school property,” Education CS Prof George Magoha said recently.

Prof Magoha said anyone suspected to have taken part in burning of a school should be subjected to a drug test and serious action be taken against them.

A survey conducted by the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse(NACADA)  in 2018 in primary schools and 2016 in secondary schools indicated that schools are not drug free places.

Kiosks, shops, bars, school workers are among the mentioned sources of drugs in schools.

Maranda High School management recently proposed that all students in the school should undergo drug test on their return from home.

The school witnessed two fire cases last year.

According to a report which was released by the Ministry of Education and NACADA, the Ministry of Education shall implement whole school testing approach to tame drug use.

They will also create a positive school climate for learning.

Kenya witnessed a spike in cases of unrest in schools with more than 31 learning institutions getting burnt.

Political leaders, parents, religious leaders and education experts aired their sentiments on the matter.

According to Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany, there is a rampant increase of unruly behaviour in schools.

“I support Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha’s sentiments that students should undergo drug tests,” said Kositany.

He added that there is need for such tests to ascertain the learners’ mental fitness for smooth learning in schools.

The Soy MP said that not only learners should undergo the tests but also other stakeholders of education including parents and teachers.

“We are happy with the CS Education’s decision; I agree with him 100 percent. We would love him to actually add parents and teachers in the test so that we can bring sanity in the education sector,” said Kositany.

The legislator spoke recently at Kaptebengwet Secondary School during the commissioning the school’s bus.

He said those seeking elective posts in the country should also undergo the drug test.

According to Kositany, those seeking for jobs in government and the private sector should undergo drug tests.

“Those found to have abused the drugs should actually be taken to rehabilitation centres in the country,” added Kositany.

The MP also said it is essential to safeguard the future of children.

He noted that the parents are not up to the task in taking care of and disciplining their children.

“Parents have actually left the responsibility of disciplining their children to teachers,” noted Kositany.

He said that everyone should take the disciplining of children seriously and it should never be left to teachers alone.

Bini Abubakar, the Chairperson of North Rift Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) said, “As religious leaders from North Rift region, we are fully behind CS Magoha’s move and sentiments.”

He said that there is need for the character of children to be checked and shown the right way when they are young.

“Our children are the next generation and if the community cannot really give them the best then it will be a big disaster as there will be total moral decay,” noted Bini.

Mr. Nicholas Maiyo, Chairperson of Parents Association. PHOTO/Edmond Kipngeno, The Scholar Media Africa.

He said that it is the collective responsibility for religious leaders, teachers, parents and the community to discipline children.

Bini agreed that teachers too should undergo drug tests citing that some of them collude with the learners to get them in school.

“Prof. Magoha proposed the same on the boarding schools but I’m saying that it should be carried out in day schools too so that it can be eliminated wholly,” said Bini.

According to Alice Sitienei, Jesse’s Sub County Director of Education, parents should have enough time with their children so that they can be in a position to instill discipline to them as a measure to lessen and eradicate indiscipline in schools.

She said that school property should be protected for ample learning environment. 

“It is sad that property such as classrooms and dormitories are being destroyed by students yet the government has taken a lot of time and resources to build them,” said Sitienei.

The officer said parents are key stakeholders in the education sector and they play a crucial part in the wellbeing and disciplining of children while at home.

According to the Parents Association chairperson Nicholas Maiyo, parents should be involved in the process since learners cannot make some decisions for themselves.

Maiyo, while speaking exclusively to The Scholar Media Africa said, “If there is any student who is supposed to undergo drug test, pregnancy test and any other, the parent or guardian should give consent first.”

He argued that the test should not be undertaken forcefully, adding that some teachers might abuse it.

A report released by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with NACADA revealed that there have been challenges in the education sector which include drugs and substances being abused by the students and the school workers.

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