Academics, security agencies, others seek policies to address drug abuse, cultism in schools
Stakeholders in the education sector and security agencies have called for policies to curb the menace of drug abuse and cultism in schools.The stakeholders, who spoke at a roundtable discussion on “School-based cultism in Lagos”, organised by the Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP), yesterday, decried the increase in drug abuse among students, which they said is the major driver of cultism in the primary, secondary and tertiary level of education.
The roundtable also had the presence of psychologists, sociologist, civil defence corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), civil society groups and ministry of education among others, who decried the menace of these illicit acts in the society and lives of students.
Speaking at the event, the Principal Staff Officer, Operations and Intelligence, NDLEA, Lawal Isiaka said, research has shown that those into cultism are drug addicts, who in turn cause chaos in communities they reside.He said these illicit acts have perpetrated into primary and secondary schools, as students engage in drug abuse and cult groups, thereby influencing other students, adding that lack of coherent policies have led to increase in crime rate.
” We need to put sanctions in a way to develop policies to reduce the menace caused by drug abuse and cultism, which has affected students in all academic level,” he added. The Technical Adviser to the Inspector General of Police, Prof. Olu Ogunsakin said, to reduce the menace of drug abuse and cultism in schools, there must be a holistic approach and measures put in place.
He said certain policies must be implemented, which include sensitization and awareness programmes for students and parents by the school administration, improving security around the school environments, training security guards to identify perpetrators of the illicit acts among others.
Speaking on the role of parents, the Director, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Olatunde Eniola said, parents need to be lectured on how to monitor and train their children, adding that most parents have ignored their responsibilities at home.”As education sector, we need to come together to put policies in place to fight drug abuse and cultism in schools. Parents need to be taught how to train their children, once they ignore their roles as parents, it pushes the children away and exposes them to peer influences of drug abuse and cultism,” she said.
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