Editorial cartoon for The People's Post
Teens to be tested
RANDOM drug testing is soon to become routine at all high schools in South Africa.
Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape, said: “Random drug testing is not in effect yet, but many high schools have been conducting drug tests with permission from learners’ parents.”
He said the new testing system would be compulsory.
Dugmore said the method of testing and date of commencement would be discussed at meetings with national education minister Naledi Pandor next month.
“Learners found to be drug users will be supported by receiving counselling,” he added.
Marcia Woolward, Grassy Park High School principal, says she has no objection to random drug testing “because drug abuse is a serious problem among the youth.
“This may be the aggressive approach to curbing drug abuse we’ve been looking for because right now only parents have the right to enforce rehabilitation.”
Jeanene Matthyse, Grassy Park High School counsellor, identifies drug abuse as a major problem in the community.
“I fully agree with the idea of random drug testing, but my hope is that things don’t end there. The learners should be given counselling and rehabilitation as a means of effectively combating the issue of drug addiction.”
According to Matthyse, blood-based drug tests are more effective and accurate than urine-based tests because “drug abusers have learnt different ways to lessen the chance of drugs being traced in their urine.”