A reality check for schools

Schools are making efforts to ensure their students are moving on the right track.

With children as young as 13 being enticed into the drug trap, the situation demands attention not only from parents but schools as well. School principals talk about the steps they are taking to ensure the same.

Narsimha Reddy
Principal, HPS, Nacharam
Earlier, the smart phones of students would be deposited in the office but now we accept only basic phones, and smart phones are not allowed because there’s a chance of them being on unwanted WhatsApp groups. We’ve also advised parents not to encourage smart phones.

Latha Shankar,
Principal, HPS, Begumpet
Teenagers are at risk as their brains are still not fully developed and so, they are tempted to try and use drugs. Parents can identify the symptoms easily. So, we had a sanitation programme from Hope Trust, which deals with drug rehabilitation, for the parents and teachers in which they discussed the signs, effects, causes and prevention of drug abuse. We are now having a session for students too. The present generation has a lot of stress because of competition and social media. They are confused with so many opportunities, and we want to help them on a daily basis. We have also done other preventive things like sending letters to GHMC, asking them to keep vendors away from the HPS.”

Gita Karan, Principal, Gitanjali School
Children make major decisions before they are 12 years old whether to smoke, drink or use drugs. Drug education in primary school is essential. We have started talking to our children. It’s not just the school’s responsibility, it starts from home. We already had a session with parents, asking them to keep a check on the money they dole out. Cellphones are another major culprit. We do regular checks during assembly and have counselors talking to our children about drug abuse. Tuitions are another place where these things could happen, and must be kept under watch. Every term, we have sessions with students, teachers and parents to talk about issues such as peer pressure, parental pressure, etc. But the latest news is so alarming, we may need to increase the frequency and concentrate more on the issue of drugs.

Jivitesh Reddy
Principal, Neeraj Public School.
We will be educating children about the adverse effects of drugs and getting people from the medical field to explain what happens with drug use. We will also be inviting some law enforcement personnel to talk and counsel parents not to give too much pocket money to their children.

Usha Reddy
Academic director, Meridian School
The Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) brings in master trainers who educate students as well as teachers about changes in an adolescent’s mind and body. It also talks extensively about substance abuse through skits and other creative activities like poster making, etc. and forces them to think. We retained this programme since we found value in it.

V. Srinivasan
executive board member, Sreenidhi International School
Schools and homes play a vital part in the lives of children and must educate them with the right kind of values. Through workshops, conferences, plays and discussions we are trying to educate children. We monitor every student individually taking note of their attendance, interests, performance and so on. There is constant sharing of information between the school and the kid’s house, which is transparent. Both psychological and career counseling are available, particularly to children in middle school.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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