Khume Ramulifho, MPL
DA Gauteng Education spokesman
The school subject life orientation, aimed at imparting learners with general life skills, is proving ineffective when dealing with teenage drug and alcohol abuse.
A recent study commissioned by the Gauteng Education department revealed that 8 out of 10 teenage participants regularly consumed alcohol and 3 out of 10 participants confirmed they were using illegal drugs.
Respondents cited the need to cope with stress, peer pressure and widespread societal acceptance as reasons for abusing substances.
Schools need to build closer relationships with local police and social services as teachers are not always qualified or equipped to assist learners with these issues.
It is imperative that a serious effort is made by the Department to combat this behaviour and successfully educate learners on the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.
Our schools should be instrumental in building strong communities by successfully educating the youth with regard to their social responsibilities.