Drug testing for all high school students and teachers nationwide will begin in September, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Wednesday.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that through this drug testing, her department would be able to know the widespread presence of drug users among students and teachers.
“We have developed a sampling scheme with our statistical experts so we will be able to capture the picture of the situation among our learners and teachers,” Briones said.
Briones added that the drug testing for high school students would be held outside the school premises.
“We are for the best protection and safety of the students,” DepEd Secretary said.
The Department of Health (DOH) will process the drug test which will run from September to October.
According to the education secretary, the confidentiality of the drug results is guaranteed. She said that they are not going to identify who’s going to be included in the sample as well as specific names of those who will be identified as drug users.
If a student or teacher tests positive, he or she will undergo a confirmatory test. If the test results to positive again, he or she will be referred by the school to a DOH-accredited physician or facility and will be subjected to a prescribed intervention program.
Briones assured that the drug results would not be used for any criminal proceedings, as well as grounds for expulsion and disciplinary action against the student. She stressed that the drug tests will be implemented primarily for prevention and rehabilitation purposes only and would not be reflected in the student’s academic records.
The DepEd said that this random drug testing is part of the department’s support to anti-drug war.