EC Education acts against drug abuse in schools

Author: Thando Ngcume
Date: 02 September 2022

Due to increase of illegal substance abuse in our EC schools, the ECDoE together with Police Prison Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) South African Police Services (SAPS), Department of Social Development (DSD) and Department of Transport (DoT) joined forces to fight this growing habit to ensure schools and community safety at the Kubusie Combined School in Stutterheim, Amathole West Education District.

Giving the background of the awareness programme was the School and Health Safety Enrichment Acting Director Pumla Gxuluwe.

 Gxuluwe said, "The total number of schools with learners using illegal substance has been reported from almost all the schools ranging from Quintile 1 to 5 with no exception, therefore ECDOE decided to accept calls from various departments providing various programmes that enhance the situation at school levels, targeting learners and empowering them to a better learning environment."

Speaking on behalf of POPCRU was Gender Coordinator, Lumka Booi, she said, "Kubusie Combined School was identified as one of the hotspot areas on children who are exposed to drugs, crime and teenage pregnancy, therefore today we are all here as the Education Sector and will work in this department to eliminate these social ills and ensure a conducive and healthy learning environment in our schools."

Addressing the involvement of Social Development in the programme was done by, Social Worker Noncedo Booi, she said, "We are here to give support to the community and learners in Stutterheim to ensure that these learners are supported emotionally, socially, physically and in every respect by learner support agents. Therefore, we will always avail ourselves on programmes that will strengthen our relations more and more.

Motivational speaker of the day was a Rehabilitated Drug Addict, Pastor Odwa Valela, where he shared his experience of been a drug addict and how he changed from that life to been a better person.

Odwa said, "today the Departments, Parents and myself attended this event because of the love and hope that we have for these children, no one was ever born a drug addicted but involving ourselves through peer pressure, but I can say there is always hope for change."

Odwa concluded by saying parents let's learn to love these children and give them your attention as they might need it."

Speaking on behalf of the parents was Zoliswa Mpagiso, a Grade 11 learner parent she said, "It is with great thanks that these departments collaborated here today to fight against this issue destroying the future of our kids and the community, therefore I know that by being here, we as the community will work hand in hand with these departments to continue protecting the future of our kids.

Speaking on behalf of the Learners was Kubusie Combined School, Grade 11 student, Ayahlume Nqawe, one of the 20 learners selected to be the schools Peer Educators, he said, "It is very disappointing to learn that our school is rated as one of the High-Risk of Illegal Substance Abuse in the District and thanks to the attended Departments to educate us about these things and the danger of using alcohol and drugs, therefore as a Peer Educator I will work hard with my Peers, Educators and Parents to protect our school."