THE inclusion of drug and money laundering topics in the Zambian school curriculum will enhance understanding of effects of drug abuse and trafficking activities, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has said.
Speaking during the handover of drug abuse supplementary readers material to the Ministry of Education yesterday, DEC director general Alita Mbahwe said DEC initiated the process of including drug topics in the school curriculum as there was need to educate young people on the effects of involving themselves in drug abuse and trafficking activities.
Ms. Mbahwe revealed that the printing of the supplementary materials, which started last year, targeted to print over 100,000 books for over 9000 schools countrywide.
“In 2013, DEC initiated the process of including drug topics in the school curriculum as there was need to educate young people on the effects of involving themselves in drug abuse and trafficking activities and the Curriculum Development Centre approved our proposal and DEC was requested to provide education materials for pupils as well as teachers so that they can be included as supplementary reading materials in schools.
“The printing of supplementary readers began in 2015 and is on-going. The targeted number to be printed is 189, 680 books for 9,484 schools countrywide. So far, the commission has only managed to print 5, 424 copies for primary and secondary schools. Limited resources have inhibited the printing of the targeted number of books to carter for all schools in Zambia,” Ms. Mbahwe said.
She thanked Standard Chartered Bank-Zambia for coming on board to help the commission print the first consignment of 7, 544 copies of the books which were officially handed over to the ministry yesterday.
And Standard Chartered Bank-Zambia chief executive officer Andrew Okai said his bank was delighted to support an initiative that will educate and empower young Zambians with knowledge about the dangers of alcohol, drug abuse and substance abuse.
Mr. Okai said statistics by the DEC education and counselling department were worrying as the problem of drug and substance abuse were still on the increase.
“The report shows that in 2013, over 250 drug abusers were attended to of which 163 of them were pupils. The report further shows that 95 percent of drug abusers in Zambia are young people aged 12-25.
“As a bank we are not only committed to Zambia’s business and economic development, but also to the communities where we operate. Education and youth development are two key priorities under our community investment initiatives,” Mr. Okai said.