The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) conducted a training course in collaboration with Plan International Cambodia on February 15 for a group of 27 national trainers on Prevention and Control of Accidents Caused by Illegal Drug Use.
The course was conducted at the Kampong Cham provincial education department to impart the knowledge and skills necessary for the participants to be able to provide training to others on this topic.
The training was presided over by NACD secretary-general Meas Vyrith and education ministry undersecretary of state Soeur Socheata.
Vyrith said the drug problem did not show any signs of slowing down despite the fact that opium poppy cultivation in the Golden Triangle region had decreased along with the production of other naturally sourced drugs. He said the production of synthetic drugs made from chemicals in laboratories was still on the rise.
“The opening of this training course today is in line with the strategies of the NACD, which calls on all ministries and institutions to continue to train key personnel in order to strengthen work on raising awareness with the public so that they understand the need to stay away from drugs. Drugs can lead to disaster for themselves, their families and society,” he said.
Socheata told The Post on February 16 that the NACD and Plan International Cambodia had supported the education ministry by helping to produce textbooks for use in villages for teaching and learning about the dangers of drugs in both public and private educational institutions across the country.
She also noted that the education ministry had recently received assistance from China to set up an anti-drug research library to disseminate information on drug-related hazards at the Samdech Techo Hun Sen Library in Phnom Penh and that this programme will be expanded to locations in eight additional provinces in the future.
Socheata said that for the safety of Cambodian society and to ensure children will avoid drugs, the education ministry is examining whether to seek support from development partners to prepare textbooks at the high school level on the Prevention and Control of Accidents Caused by Illegal Drug Use for distribution to all educational institutions.
She said the education ministry and NACD will conduct another course for national trainers in Kampong Speu in March on the same topic.
Yi Kim Than, deputy country director for Programmes of Plan International Cambodia, said there are many issues and concerns related to drugs in schools and their effects on students.
“We think this problem is due to a lack of awareness among children and students about the effects of drug use on their health, education and future prospects. Therefore, our organisation has discussed with the education ministry ways to contribute to reducing the number of students using drugs,” he said.
Kim Than said that for students to fully understand the effects of drug use, it is necessary to give special training to their teachers on the subject which is why the organisation published the Prevention and Control of Accidents Caused by Illegal Drug Use manual as a resource for teachers to use in their anti-drug education efforts.