The Substance Abuse Advisory Council has recorded 32 drug associated cases in schools in the first 5 months of this year where 12 cases were related to marijuana, 2 methamphetamine related cases, 8 suki related, 8 alcohol and 1 glue related issue.
This has been revealed by Assistant Minister for Education Iliesa Vanawalu while opening the International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking at Nasinu Secondary School.
He says according to the Council, 2,932 drug related issues were reported from schools last year.
Vanawalu says this data is sending us a message to be more proactive in working towards practical solutions to the drug challenges facing our young people in Fiji.
He says the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, Fiji Narcotics Bureau and other education partners such as Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and UNICEF have been working closely to combat drug related issues in schools.
He says there is a provision of counselling hubs in the main education divisions where students in the Western Division can get counselling at Natabua High School, Labasa College in the North, Levuka Public School in the East and Nasinu Secondary School in the Central Division.
He says there has also been an increase of 28 teacher counsellors in schools around the country.
Vanawalu is reminding students that their goals in life can only be achieved if they decide today to work hard in school, realise their leadership capabilities, be a student of good character, always fear God and stay away from drugs.
He is also stressing to parents to realise their God-given responsibilities of caring, protecting and honouring their child.
He says children have more potential than they know or realise.
The Assistant Minister says love your children, communicate more with them in a polite tone and please understand them.
He is also encouraging teachers to never give up on their students.
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