No check on supply of drugs in schools
A number of residents of Islamabad’s Sector G-6 and G-7 have written a letter to Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar over the unchecked supply of drugs to school boys. After a brief lull, drug supply to the educational institutions of the federal capital has resumed and it is being done in a systematic and organized manner.
“It is stated with deep concern that our children are exposed to drug peddlers and drug dealers who have access to schools even to their class,” says the letter. According to a resident of the Sector G-6, his son studies at a government-run model school in grade-9 in the same sector. “He often tells stories of how his class fellows are seduced and lured into drugs by these drug dealers who always look for new prey.” These stories are so disturbing that we have decided to write to the prime minister office and the Supreme Court’s chief justice to take notice of the matter and purge the schools of such mafia, he further said.
It was in 2016 when an NGO South Asia Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) had published a report that claimed that 53pc of students at elite private schools were drug “addicts.” The report was based on the findings of a survey of 44 institutions.
The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), which looks after the affairs of public sector schools, was also unaware of how and when the surveys of public schools were conducted. Later, these findings were shared with the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control. It claimed that 44 to 53pc of students at elite private schools use drugs.
The NGO had conducted a survey of 44 educational institutions, including some public sector schools and it was found out that 43 to 53pc of students at elite schools – where students from privileged backgrounds were studying – were addicts. They were using heroin, hashish, opium and ecstasy tablets.
About public sector schools, the report claimed 7 to 8pc of students over the age of 16 at model colleges were “addicts”, while only 1 to 2pc of students at public sector schools were addicts. The kept the survey secret and approached most students outside their institutions. The Senate’s standing committee after the presentation of report summoned the IG Islamabad and decided that drug test should be made mandatory in educational institutions to arrest trend of drug addiction in the youth. The committee later suggested that mobile teams of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) should visit schools. However, despite the recommendations of the committee, no meaningful step was taken by the authorities. It is perhaps because of this lackluster response by the government, the residents of the sectors G-6 and G-7 are forced to write to the CJP and the PM to do something about this.