Mchinji, Stakeholders including teachers and police in Mchinji have expressed concern over drug and alcohol abuse among students, which they say are some of the major factors contributing to violence and vandalism of property in schools across the country.
The concerns came out this week during motivational talk at Bua Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in the district organised by Girls Activists Youth Organisation (GAYO).
Head Teacher for the CDSS, Ireen Zimba, said there was need for more engagements with the students in order to deal with drug and alcohol abuse.
She said the behaviours get out of hand at the end of each academic year when form four students are about to sit for their examinations.
Usually, when we approach Malawi School Certificate of Education Examinations (MSCE), form four learners involve themselves in all kinds of mischief.
They indulge in violence and vandalise school property, mostly under the influence of drugs and alcohol, she said.
Zimba said the current school curriculum includes a life-skills subject which, among other things, tackles drug and alcohol abuse, but she noted that more interventions are needed to help students fully understand the dangers associated with the malpractice.
Mchinji Police Spokesperson Kaitano Lubrino, who was one of the facilitators for the motivation talks, warned the students against violence and vandalism, saying the two are criminal and punishable by law.
For the past three years, we have been receiving reports of some learners masquerading as gulewamkulu to commit crimes at school. As police, we will not condone violence and vandalism perpetrated by anybody, including students, Lubrino said.
He further warned that police are on the lookout for drug peddlers who sell the illicit substances to students.
GAYO is a Mchinji based non-governmental organization primarily concerned with promoting rights of girls through research, development, entrepreneurship, citizen participation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Source: MANA Online