NEWS

Drugs at Top Suva School

Mahendra Reddy says illicit drug and substance abuse in schools will not be tolerated at any cost. The comments of the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts come after four
25 Feb 2017 12:04
Drugs at Top Suva School
Drugs at School

Mahendra Reddy says illicit drug and substance abuse in schools will not be tolerated at any cost.

The comments of the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts come after four girl students of a prominent Suva school were allegedly found to be in possession of what was believed to be marijuana.

Their parents were summoned to the school and were informed that marijuana had been confiscated from the girls.

It is understood that they chose to pull out their children instead of them being expelled.

The school’s principal could not be reached to comment last night.

Mr Reddy has come out strongly against illegal drugs, violence and related behavioural issues at school.’

“I must remind all that we will not condone any acts of violence, abuse, drugs and substance abuse and other related behavioural issues in school,” he stated.

He added that the ministry was steering the education system into a modern education system, and they would deal with such cases to ensure that it was not repeated.

“We have reviewed and implemented the Child Protection and Behaviour Management policies which clearly guides teachers and School Heads on procedures of actions while dealing with student related issues and situations. These policies guide teachers on the rights of the child ensuring that proper action are taken in the best interests of the child and the school”, he said.

Mr Reddy also said that parents’ engagement in their children’s education was important.

“We are guiding parents to understand their children and instill in them the habits and values that keep them away from all wrong doings,” he said.

“It is really unfortunate that incidents of such nature have cropped up but be rest assured that stringent actions will be taken so that the children are supported and guided to change and mend their ways. For this we need a collaborative effort from all stakeholders and most importantly the parents and guardians,” said Mr Reddy.

Mr Reddy also requested parents and the communities to work together into moulding the children into better individuals.

Methodist Church President Reverend Tevita Banivanua said that he was very concerned.

He said it was something that shouldn’t be happening.

“Don’t play with fire,” he said.

“We are living in a world of experiments, the contemporary society has brought in new and more severe issues which our children are vulnerable to,” he said.

“We see our children as educated people on the way to serving Fiji and serving their families,” he said.

He added that if the children are following these types of attitudes now, then there won’t be any good outcome in the future.

“Parents should be very careful and mindful of illegal substances and other related behavioral issues of their children,” he said.

“The most important thing is the family and parents should try and make sure that the children are not tempted into the desires of this world,” he said.

Questions were also sent to the Catholic Archdiocese of Suva but the Fiji Sun was told that Archbishop Peter Loy Chong is out of the country.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said they had never relented on pursuing marijuana cultivators and dealers.

“Every day we make arrest on illegal cultivations and dealers, I can assure members of the public that we will continue to pursue them,” he said.

He added that the most important thing for students was to get an education for their future.

“Involving them in illegal activities is not worth at all,” he said.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback: monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

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