Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau announced today (October 19) that the Beat Drugs Fund Association has approved funding applications by 43 schools to launch the Healthy School Programme with a drug testing component (HSP(DT)) for the 2011/12 school year later this month. A total of $14 million has been granted.
HSP(DT) is a school-based programme comprising both diversified personal growth programmes and a drug testing component.It is designed to help students develop healthy habits and a positive outlook on life and values, thereby enhancing their resilience to adversity.
In addition to the deterrent element of drug testing, participating schools of the HSP(DT) will run preventive anti-drug education programmes for students, support programmes for students in need, and training workshops for parents and teachers.
The preventive anti-drug programmes to be launched by the participating schools are designed to cater for their own specific circumstances.They include a variety of activities such as anti-drug talks, skills development courses, leadership training programmes, mentorship schemes, workshops on emotion management and problem-solving skills, adventure activities and visits.
"In the Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing in Tai Po District implemented in the past two school years, students, parents, teachers and principals considered the Scheme to be effective in building an anti-drug culture at schools, triggering the motivation of those who had abused drugs to quit and seek help, and enhancing students' resolve to refuse drugs," said the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Erika Hui.
"Evaluation research commissioned by the Narcotics Division also recommended that anti-drug programmes for students and parents should be put in place to complement drug testing."
As with the Trial Scheme in Tai Po District, participation in drug testing as part of the HSP(DT) is voluntary.Participating students will be randomly selected for drug testing.In addition, each school will decide, based on their specific circumstances, the drug testing method to be adopted.Among the 43 participating schools, 30 have chosen to conduct the urine screening test and 13 will use the hair test.Participating schools will arrange to brief students and their parents on arrangements for the programme.
Personal data (including drug testing records) obtained under school drug testing will be kept strictly confidential.All parties concerned must strictly comply with the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134) and the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap.
486).A protocol explaining the principles, roles of all parties concerned and detailed arrangements for school drug testing will be observed by the participating schools and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Apart from the existing 43 schools (including 25 Government schools and 18 Tai Po schools), more schools are expected to implement the HSP(DT) in the 2011/12 school year.The Narcotics Division and Education Bureau will continue to engage other stakeholders including school sponsoring bodies and managements, teacher organisations, parent bodies, students and NGOs to promote understanding of the programme and enlist their support.
"The purpose of the HSP(DT) is to enhance students' resilience to adversity and their resolve to stay away from drugs," Mrs Hui said."We welcome applications from interested schools and NGOs for funding support from the Beat Drugs Fund to launch the programme throughout the year.There is no deadline for application."
More details on the approved HSP(DT) projects by the Beat Drugs Fund are available at the following website - www.nd.gov.hk/en/beat.htm.
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