ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 5 — The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to conduct drug tests on public school officials and high school students to ensure that local schools are drug-free.
Dr. Pedro Melchor Natividad, City Schools Division superintendent, on Monday said those who will undergo drug tests will include the non-teaching staff aside from teachers and high school students.
But Natividad said the drug testing for non-teaching personnel will be compulsory while teachers and students will undergo random testing.
He said the conduct of drug testing will be held in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH).
The DepEd-central office will determine as to the number of teachers and students who will undergo random drug testing.
Local DepEd records showed that there are 6,500 teachers and 120 non-teaching staffs under the City Schools Division.
There are 58,232 Junior (Grades 7 to 10) and 9,470 Senior (Grades 11 and 12) high school students for school year 2017-2018 in this city.
Natividad said teachers and non-teaching staffs found positive for drug use will be dismissed from the service while students will be required to undergo psycho-social intervention and rehabilitation.
“The purpose of [the conduct of] random drug testing is for remediation or rehabilitation, it’s not [intended] for administrative discipline on the students,” Natividad said.
There are 38 public high schools under the City Division of Schools, which consists of 12 school districts. (RGAAG/PNA)