NDLEA commander advises principals to support war against drug abuse
Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Rivers State, Ahmed Mamuda, on Wednesday advised secondary school principals to sensitise their students to the prevention and consequences of drug abuse.
MrMamuda gave the advice during a town hall meeting organised by the agency for secondary school principals in the state at the University of Port Harcourt.
The commander said that the programme with the theme, “Roles of principals to combat drug menace in schools,” was timely to warn against drug abuse.
Mr Mamuda said that the aim of the programme was to sensitise the principals and the students to the consequences of drug abuse and how to handle the challenges.
He disclosed that the programme would also create awareness on the new emerging drug abuse such as the trending balloon drugs or the inserting of drugs in soft drinks by young people.
Mr Mamuda stated that the sensitisation of the principals to the war against drug abuse captured the distinct roles they played in ensuring a safer and healthier educational environment.
He emphasised on their leadership advocacy and commitment to fostering a culture that would guide pupils against abuse of substances.
Mr Mamuda explained that secondary school management was a critical stakeholder in both behaviour and academic development of the youth and could not be overemphasized.
The commander said that the agency would continue to partner with other sister agencies to curb the menace in society.
He urged the public to collaborate with NDLEA by providing to the agency useful information that would help to apprehend drug peddlers in the state and the country at large.
Furthermore, Assistant Zonal Commander, Drug Demand, Reduction Units, NDLEA, Port Harcourt, Zone “N,” Rosemary Ajuzie, trained the principals on basics of drug abuse.
She said schools played and nurtured crucial formative roles in shaping the behaviour of young ones, and as such requires adequate care and training of the students.
Ms Ajuzie stated that the school drug education was not just to focus on the delivery of information to increase pupils’ knowledge and understanding, but could also contribute towards the development of skills and attitude to help young ones to make safe choices in their lives.
She further said that the roles of the principals in drug abuse prevention education were multifaceted beyond traditional, academic responsibilities.
She also mentioned some of the roles played by the principals as integration of drug abuse education in the school curriculum to acquire skills and knowledge needed to make decisions and resist the temptation of drug or substance abuse.
Others are leadership and policy advocacy, rules and regulations, monitoring the pupils and their environment, early identification of drug abuse pupils, promotion of community engagement by teachers, pupils, parents and traditional rulers.
Similarly, Vice Chancellor, UNIPORT, Prof. Owunari George, called for early sensitisation to drug abuse, saying it would go a long way to stop pupils from premature death or harm.
Mr George commended the NDLEA for the awareness and its consequences, saying it had become a menace in schools.
He advised principals to be more alert to pupils’ activities and their environment to save their lives.
He further assured that the university would continue to partner with NDLEA to keep the students safe from drug abuse.
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