Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has responded to public criticism of the government’s stance on mandatory drug tests for students.
While addressing the media on Saturday, January 8, in Kakamega County, Mogoha insisted that drug tests were necessary in schools given the rising cases of indiscipline.
The CS noted that schools would continue administering the tests despite the growing concern over the legality of the process.
However, Mogoha acknowledged that the ministry had not crafted a framework to guide the administration of drug tests in schools.
“Drug testing does not require to be there but the 0.01 percent who are daring to burn government property are criminals and drug testing must be done whether people like it or not,”
He added that he was ashamed to visit some schools in the country adding that the school heads needed to restore order in the affected schools.
“Do you think I am happy coming here to this small school yet we have Kakamega and Chavakali next door? I am ashamed to go there. Why haven’t I gone to Maranda? The principals have a job to do,” he stated.
The response by the CS comes after education stakeholders criticised the move stating that there were no policies to guide the process.
Consequently, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) issued a statement to clarify that they were not part of the ongoing drug tests that were being conducted in some schools.
“The Authority wishes to, from the onset, clarify that it does not conduct any drug testing We also wish to state that there is currently no law in the country making drug testing mandatory for learners,” NACADA stated then.
Additionally, the CS retaliated that no student would be sent back home because of school fees adding that the ministry would take action against the school heads to defy the directive.
Mogoha explained that students should be allowed to stay in school to study even as he revealed that he went through a similar scenario when he was in school.
“If students are sent home for lunch money in primary and high school, we shall react very firmly. As you see me here I was a day scholar and if you are so wicked that you don’t want that poor child to eat the lunch available, let that child stay in school,” he stated.