Shocking numbers of those pupils tested for drugs came up positive, reveals the Western Cape Education Department on Thursday in Parliament.
In 2018, of the learners who were subjected to drugs tests, 60.9% of the primary school learners tested positive while 71.1% of the high school learners came up as positive.
However, the overall number of learners who were selected to undergo these tests declined.
Kieno Kammies speaks to Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer about these worrying findings.
Schafer acknowledges schools do not arbitrarily test pupils, so those tested do fall within those reasonably suspected of drug use, which does skew the results.
It is also important to look at the number of pupils were tested. She says more were tested in 2017 than in 2018, which would also affect the results.
It's worrying that anyone is taking drugs at school, but primary school learners in particular.— Debbie Schafer, MEC - Western Cape Education Department
The results are not constrained to any school or area, but occurs across the board, she adds.
Most cases tested positive for dagga followed by cigarettes and alcohol.
Fortunately, there were only three cases of Tik, one of Mandrax and two of cocaine since 2017.— Debbie Schafer, MEC - Western Cape Education Department
She adds that drug use can be gang-related, but often it is just young people experimenting.
The department has set up hotlines and helplines to assist, but need parents to step in as well, she says.
We plead with parents to get involved and help.— Debbie Schafer, MEC - Western Cape Education Department
Listen to the interview below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Drug use stats among school kids: 'Most cases tested positive for dagga'