MANILA, Sept. 26 (PNA) — The Department of Education is eyeing mandatory drug tests for teachers and students, with the consent of their parents, in all public schools nationwide, its chief said Monday.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones told reporters that this will be the departmentâ€™s contribution to the intensified campaign against illegal drugs under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Briones said that although teachers are required to take drug tests at their expense before they are hired for employment, the department wants to conduct it annually with the expense to be shouldered by the government.
â€œWe have 722,000 teachers. We are the biggest sector. We cannot say that one sector has drug problems while we donâ€™t. We have to find out,â€ she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
â€œThe reason why some donâ€™t want to take drug tests is because the teacher will have additional tests to pay for. We will construct a sampling model for this. It was done before by Bro. (Armin) Luistro,â€ she added.
She assured that students will be given the drug test only after their parents consent to it.
The department will reach a decision on the matter before the end of the year, she added.
Meanwhile, Briones said the department is also planning to incorporate illegal drug education in the curriculum for schools and the alternative learning system (ALS).
â€œIn the curriculum, we want to include it and develop materials like film, drama, song instead of just textbooks,â€ she said. (PNA)