Infusing Drug Prevention and Control in the School Curricula:

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On the enhancement and effectiveness of the inclusion of drug prevention and control in the intermediate and secondary school curricula this term paper centers. Positive facets as well as negative aspects are tackled to provide a clear picture as to how the program helps in the elimination of drug abuse and/or addiction among the youth. On July 4, 2002, Republic Act 9165 – otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, was signed to law, establishing a Philippine Drug Enforcement and Prevention System. In support of RA 9165, the Department of Education issued an order emphasizing the role of the educational system in the implementation of Article III relating to the random drug testing of secondary or high school students and Article IV calling for the participation of the family, students, teachers and school authorities in the enforcement of the Act. This role has been incorporated into the National Drug Education Program (NDEP) which was set up in 1992 by virtue of Republic Act 7624 entitled "Integrating Drug Abuse Prevention and Control in the Intermediate and Secondary Curricula as well as in the Non-Formal, Informal and Indigenous Learning System and for Other Purposes." The NDEP was first known as the Comprehensive School-Based Drug Abuse Prevention Program. Its creation came on the heal of the 1989 prevalence survey conducted by the Department which showed that 9.89 percent of respondents from high school and colleges and universities admitted that they had used drugs. The Program, due to lack of funds, did not create much impact. In 1995, interest in the NDEP was revived through Memorandum Order 388 which called for the "Institutionalization of the NDEP in All Schools." Regional directors of the national public school system were directed to plan, implement and evaluate the program at all levels and to provide the necessary financial and material support to ensure continuous operations. Drug abuse prevention activities such as classroom teaching of concepts, guidance and counselling, scouting, training of concerned implementers, parents and local leaders formed the major components of the Program. In 1997, the Department issued Memorandum Order 499 calling for the "Strengthening of the NDEP in Schools." This acknowledged the continuing pervasiveness of drug abuse among the youth and the fact that lack of resources had hampered the effective implementation of the Program. It thus reiterated the need to "allocate funds for the production of existing modules and teaching aids for drug education," and the intensification of anti-drug abuse information campaigns. It also called for greater involvement of Parents-Teacher-Community Associations in the drug abuse prevention efforts. With support from the DDB, the Department – in 1997 and 1998, was able to publish several "Support Instructional Materials on Drug Abuse Prevention for Integration in the Elementary Curriculum" for all elementary grade levels. It also published a resource pamphlet entitled "Drug Education Core Areas and Messages for All Levels of Education and Specific Target Groups." It even published the "Drug Abuse Prevention Integrated Scouting Kit," a resource book for the Boy and Girl Scouting Movement. These publications served as resource guides for teachers and school supervisors in integrating drug education in existing subjects and extra-curricular activities. In Science and Health, for example, lessons on drugs, drug abuse and the forms and uses of drugs were included as a part of various subjects. Values formation, including the importance of drug-free lifestyles, was incorporated in other subjects such as Geography, History and Social Studies (Sibika). To ensure the uniformity in the teaching of concepts on drug abuse and its ill effects, core messages were identified and incorporated according to the specific levels in elementary, high school and college. These core messages consisted of five major subjects: drugs; dangerous...
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