HARARE – Primary and Secondary Education Ministry Communications and Advocacy Director Taungana Ndoro has called on parents, churches and community leaders to exercise their role in helping government fight rampant drug abuse among school going children in the country.
The scourge was common among adult youths who were taking illicit substances ostensibly to numb the effects unemployment and economy induced hardships.
But a recent report by Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) documented that the consumption of illegal drugs has cascaded to urban and rural schools with 57.1 percent learners between 13-19 years of age said to be abusing drugs.
Ndoro underscored the need for community leaders and parents to play their part towards ensuring children were not hooked into drugs.
“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education encourages community members including community leaders, parents and guardians of school going children to assist it in curbing the use of drugs and intoxicating substances.
“Continuous guidance and counseling within the communities as deterrent measures against drug abuse will also buttress the efforts that Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is doing in its schools to ensure that it will do away with this scourge of drug and substance abuse that has become a misnomer amongst the youths of our nation.
“So, we urge all communities and all community leaders, prominent businesspeople within communities, church leaders to also come in and fight this scourge of drugs.”
Vuzu parties, the infamous sex orgies often attended by teenagers, have been identified as hotspots for alcohol and drug abuse among urban students.
Students in rural schools, likewise, are also taking marijuana and some illicit alcoholic beverages.
Ndoro said government, through his ministry, has put adequate safety nets in place to fight drug abuse.
“Indeed, we have quite a number of safety nets as government that we have introduced and policies that are there which have always been there, and we have said they should be enhanced.
“The campaigns are ongoing on all mainstream media against the scourge of drug abuse,” he said.
The top bureaucrat said the ministry has been inundated with proposals by private players keen on a partnership to fighting drug abuse among students.