30 Oct 2013 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 30 OCT (NAMPA) - Education Minister David Namwandi has appealed to all Namibians to become part of the fight against drug use by learners.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, he said there is an elephant in the kraal, which is growing larger every day, and that elephant is called substance abuse.
Drugs and alcohol have left their indelible marks on our society, and these marks only get bigger and uglier. Society has indeed become diseased, while substance abuse gains ground in every sphere of the lives of Namibians, Namwandi noted.
The minister said schools and hostels have become breeding grounds and markets for drugs and alcohol as these substances have become readily available without any limitations.
Large quantities of drugs also make their way into Namibia, and are then available at schools, hostels and private homes, with incidents of drug abuse being rampant in urban schools, although schools in the rural areas are likewise not exempted.
The Khomas Region in particular has seen an increasing number of learners excessively indulging in drugs like dagga and cocaine.
Such learners are normally noticeable, as they regularly display violent behaviour towards fellow learners and teachers. Worst of all, some learners will bring drugs to school, and many of the users obtain the drugs during school hours, said Namwandi.
A number of learners also tested positive for drugs during a random test carried out at schools by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Khomas Region.
A test was carried out in a classroom of 30 learners at one school (of which the name is being withheld), and 24 of the learners tested positive for drugs.
Some learners even purchase drugs with money given to them by their parents for other purposes, while others steal from their parents to buy drugs.
It is abundantly clear that action has to be taken to remedy the situation. The number of deaths, accidents on roads and cases of gender-based violence is a clear testimony that drugs and alcohol have taken root in Namibian society, and also in our schools, Namwandi pointed out.
He, therefore, appealed to Government to establish drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres to provide an avenue for addicted Namibians to turn their backs on their addictions.
The politician also extended a call to Namibians to report drug dealers, especially those who sell their wares at schools.
Report the drug dealers who gather innocent young people on the street corners and enclose them in the net of addiction, he stressed.
Namwandi then appealed to parents to report their children's peers when they try to lead an innocent child astray, and that they should always make sure that they know where their children are, and whom they spend their time with.
Let each of us be vigilant and safeguard the Namibian child against the evil of drug and alcohol abuse, and let us all get together and get this elephant out of the kraal before it brings our entire life to a standstill, he added.