Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid tells daily that drug abuse even involves students in primary schools.
PETALING JAYA: Over 500 secondary school students tested positive for drugs in the first quarter of the year, says Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid.
Of the 554 Form Four and Form Five students who tested positive from Jan 1 to March 15, most of them had taken synthetic pills, he added in a report in The Star today.
Students in Johor accounted for 13 cases. State Narcotics Investigations Department chief Asst Comm Lukas Ak Aket told the daily that although the numbers were not high, they were nonetheless worrying as they involved teenagers.
The report added that four cases had been recorded in Penang, quoting state Narcotics Department chief Asst Comm Maidu Abu Bakar who said the department was working closely with schools on the issue.
Should a student’s urine test show positive for drugs, or if drugs are found in his or her school bag, Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon said the student would be sent for counselling.
“We will follow up on the progress every three months to make sure the student is drug-free. We will send the student to a rehabilitation centre if the addiction persists,” Chong was quoted as saying.
Mahdzir added that the matter was not limited to students in secondary schools.
“The issue of drug abuse is a serious matter, as it does not only involve secondary school students but also pupils in primary schools,” he told The Star, without revealing further details on the matter.
“The ministry has identified the hotspots and is working with the police, National Anti-Drug Agency and Pemadam (the NGO that works with former drug addicts),” he said in the report.