Duterte orders DepEd to teach dangers of drug abuse in schools as early as Grade 4

  • Duterte wants the dangers of illegal drugs taught in schools as early as Grade 4
  • The President directed the DepEd to employ, aside from books, other learning methods to teach preventive drug education
  • Education Secretary Leonor Briones said DepEd will be using films, art and poetry to teach the dangers of using illegal drugs to young students

President Rodrigo Duterte wants the teaching of preventive drug education in schools as early as Grade 4 and directed Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones to also employ alternative learning methods, aside from books.

“Although drug education is taught in science and health classes, he (Duterte) wants it to start at Grade 4,” Briones said during the House appropriations committee’s hearing on DepEd’s proposed budget for 2017.

As mentioned in GMA News Online, Secretary Briones said the President does not want drug literacy to be taught by books alone, but also through other learning methods such as reading poetry, screening films and showing art.

Dr. Floriño A. Francisco, in his commentary published by Inquirer, opined that the teaching of drug literacy as early as Grade 4 is a noteworthy idea in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs because even students as young as 10 years old are targets of drug syndicates.

Teaching young schoolchildren the perils of drug addiction will most likely prevent them from trying drugs. Prevention, Dr. Francisco said, is the most effective weapon in curbing the drug menace in the country.

In his piece, Dr. Francisco cited a drug expert from the United States who said: “To talk only of eliminating the illicit drug supply and its pushers is a shortsighted approach in curbing drug addiction. What we need is a long-range education program that will eventually eliminate the demand.”