BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, July 13 (Xinhua) — By equipping the participants with necessary skills, the Intervention Workshop for school counsellors and teachers is hoped to further curb the lingering issue of drug abuse in Brunei’s schools, Acting Director of Brunei’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Haji Mohd Jaffari told Xinhua on Saturday.
During an interview, Haji Mohd Jaffari said that this workshop should enable teachers and counsellors to take necessary interventions or measures in their respective schools, by means of counselling, lectures and briefings.
When asked whether there was an increase in drug abuse cases, he said, “it’s not a matter of whether cases are on the rise or otherwise. What is more important is that we are carrying out effective programmes to help avoid any drastic increase in the number of cases.”
He said that the NCB has yet to carry out a comprehensive survey of drug abuse cases, but admitted that it is a lingering problem among students.
He also cited various reasons for drug abuse among students, which often stem from family-related issues and unhealthy social influences.
“It cannot be denied that drug abuse still persists among students, especially in this current age where they are easily exposed to the challenges of the modern world, brought about by advancements in technology such as social media platforms and so on,” he said.
“Therefore, it is important that school counsellors or teachers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to monitor and handle drug abuse in schools.”
He said NCB’s role is not only to prosecute drug offenders, but also to approach the problems in a holistic way.
The NCB acting director spoke to Xinhua at the closing ceremony for the second phase of the Intervention Workshop.
According to him, the workshop is being carried out in three phases, with the first held from April 29 to May 4. The second phase, involving 14 school counsellors and teachers, was held from July 8 to July 13.
The final phase of the workshop will be carried out tentatively from August 25 to September 5.