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Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. /CFM-FILE.

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You’ve spoiled your kids, Magoha tells parents while warning of drug abuse

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9-Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has blamed poor parenting for the increased alcohol and substance abuse among school children.

Magoha said parents should be responsible for their school-going children, even as the Ministry puts in place measures to ensure learning institutions are free from alcohol and substance use.

He said this during the launch of the National Guidelines for Alcohol and Substance use prevention and management in Basic Education Institutions, a function also attended by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

“A child will not do what you say, a child will do what you do. There is need for parents to accept that they are responsible for what is happening to our children,” said Magoha.

On his part, Kibicho assured of the Ministry’s support in safeguarding the school environment for realization of drug-free schools.

“The work has just begun, it is upon all of us to ensure the effective implementation of these guidelines,” he stated.

The Guidelines have been developed with the support of the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), to provide a framework on interventions for the prevention of alcohol and substance use in basic education institutions across the country.

A national survey conducted by NACADA in 2017 showed that alcohol is the most abused substance with 12.2 per cent being persons aged 15-65 being active users.

A similar survey conducted in secondary schools in 2016 indicated that 23.4 per cent students had ever used alcohol, 17 per cent had ever used miraa, 16.1 prescription drugs, 14. 4 per cent had used tobacco and 7.5 per cent had used cannabis.

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In 2019, NACADA also sought to establish the extent of drug abuse among primary school students, where a survey revealed that 20.2 per cent of the pupils had used at least one drug substance in their lifetime.

The survey also pointed fingers to adults for their role in the abuse of drugs among school children as most students reported that they get their drugs from shops and kiosks near schools, others get them from bars as well as from school workers.

“On this, my Ministry is regularly conducting compliance checks to ensure that there are no alcohol selling premises near institutions of learning for persons below the age of 18,” stated PS Kibicho.

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