Drug testing in schools in Punjab… yep, you read that right.
Boys and girls, I have some news for you. The Punjab Government is currently seeking permission from the CEOs of private schools to sign affidavits which will allow them to test the students studying in their schools for possible drug use.
Once the Punjab Government has permission from all necessary parties, they will begin conducting drug tests in schools across the province. According to Punjab Minister for School Education Murad Raas, there has been a reported rise in the use of ‘ice’ which is a local slang term used for methamphetamine. And to curb drug use, the provincial government has decided to keep a stricter check on students.
The test results will be shared with parents and students who are found to be using drugs will have action taken against them.
It is still unclear about how these tests will be administered and how the results will be relayed to parents. Or what actions will be taken against students who are found to be using drugs. It is also not clear whether the drug check will be random or announced beforehand.
Now, this is a very serious situation. While on one hand, I am glad that this initiative has begun as an answer to the rise in the use of methamphetamine which in a lot of cases can prove to be severely addictive and dangerous, this is also concerning because this means students will have no choice but to comply. And I shudder to think of the consequences the students who are found to be using drugs will face not just legally but from their families as well.
The government probably intends for this to be a deterrent in making children avoid drugs so as not to be found out through the test and subsequently have their parents know.
And I wonder how much money will be spent on this project since I can’t imagine drug testing on such a large scale will be cheap. I would have much rather preferred that instead of drug testing every school in the province, the government, appointed trained counselors and therapists for students if their intention is actually to help students.
Instead of going after the apparent problem, the root of it needs to be addressed as well; why do students feel the need to turn to abuse dangerous drugs because it’s clear that most of them already know it’s wrong and how harmful they can be.
The initiative is still in the first phase of authorities getting ready to execute their plan by getting necessary permissions from relevant authorities. So we suggest those who need to, to clean up their acts.
What do you think of the Punjab government’s new initiative? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover Image Source: cityschool.com/belmarrahealth.com