By Mary Machocho
The Police have asked school administrators and student leaders to always make regular and prompt searches in dormitories and check in students’ suitcases for drugs that are sneaked in by traffickers.
John Stephen Otim, the commissioner of police at Interpol said drug use was becoming a serious and dangerous practice in schools, which he said was the leading cause of crime including rape, violent strikes and sexual immorality.
Otim, who represented Asan Kasingye, the director for Interpol, was addressing students and their leaders from nine schools that attended the launch of the annual schools fight against crime at the Sharing Hall Nsambya in Kampala.
The function, organized by Events Facility, a youth organization in collaboration with the department of ethics and integrity was run under the theme; ‘Rebuilding morals and ethics in society’.
It aims at addressing crimes in schools that include narcotics and drug abuse, pornography, homosexuality, alcoholism, strikes, among others.
“Drug abuse is a serious issue in schools and has led to adverse effects on the students’ performance, administrators should be very strict and check all boxes and other property when students return to school and continue checking throughout the term,” Otim said.
He however, said the police had not started carrying out operations in schools like elsewhere but confirmed that students were the most vulnerable because the ‘traffickers’ within schools, referred to as ‘drug kingpins’ share with others.
He said some of the kingpins had money and were in position to influence others.
Sarah Kisitu, a student from Lubiri High caused emotions when she confessed that she had been stressed by her elder brother who had taken drugs and became a social mischief and requested authorities to help him.
Several students confessed to have used drugs at one time or stayed with friends using drugs but complained that authorities had not done much to help check these practices which had become rampant, mentioning use of drugs as the leading crime.
They cited some youth who rape women when they take drugs, engage in fighting, beating fellow students and teachers as well as drop out of school.
Michael Mugagga from Kako SS said use of drugs like ‘kubar’ was so common that students spend their pocket money to access them.
Phillip Oringo from the Straight Talk Foundation said drug abuse and alcoholism were the leading crimes in schools because they are produced locally and are easily accessible to the youths.
He said that a survey was made and found out that schools in Kampala and Gulu were leading in alcohol consumption.
Students asked the ministry of education and sports to organize more such events at lower levels to enable more students benefit from information about common crimes and how they can avoid them.
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