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                                  Dadah: School to get 'quick test' kits

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News Straits Times ( 16 March 1998 )


PEKAN,Sun.-The Education Ministry will soon supply schools nationwide with ‘quick test’ kits to weed out dadah addicts among pupils. The Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the kits would enable schools to carry out on-the-spot tests on pupils suspected to be dadah addicts. "If a test on a pupil is positive, the school will arrange with the anti-narcotics agency for more tests to be carried out. "This will confirm the entire result,"he told reporters after opening the Pekan UMNO delegates meeting. Najib said pupils suspected to be dadah addicts will be subjected to the tests and headmasters will exercise their descretion in the matter. The National Anti-Dadah Council which supplies the kits is expected to prepare a guidebook on conducting the test. Najib said schools should not be reluctant or afraid to implement the test because it was only a preliminary test. "The question of the quick test result being disputed or the possibility of legal complications does not arise. "This is because only the result of the second test will be taken into account in determining if a pupil is on dadah." Najib said the Ministry viewed dadah problem in schools as serious but added that the number of pupils identified as dadah addicts was "not that many". "We will continue to implement preventive measures and the quick test has been identified as one of them." Najib said the quick test kits would be supplied to schools in stages from this year. "For certain areas,we may place the kits at the district education offices,"he said.