Pubdate: Sun, 08 Feb 2009
Source: Times, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2009 The Times
Author: Wendyl Martin
Bookmark: (Youth)


A Durban high school has taken a tough stance against  drug abuse by 
becoming the first school in South Africa  to have its pupils trained 
as anti-drug "marshals".

New West Secondary School in Newlands West, which has  more than 1400 
pupils, started with its first batch of  anti-drug campaigners this week.

Foundation for a Drug Free World, an international  non-governmental 
organisation, is running the  programme.

The first batch of 28 pupils are among 120 pupils from  five Newlands 
West high schools taking part in the  programme, paid for by the 
foundation and private  sponsors, and will earn their "drug-free 
marshal"  stripes next week.

The rest of the pupils at New West Secondary are set to  complete 
their training this week and graduate in  batches.

The marshals have been trained to identify drugs by  their street 
names and appearance, and to counsel users  and look out for symptoms 
of drug use.

Principal Farouk Bayat said his school decided to be  "proactive 
about the drug problem in Newlands rather  than reactive".

Bayat said while he couldn't totally put paid to drug  abuse at the 
school, a programme of this nature would  educate pupils and help reduce abuse.

Teacher Roslyn Narain-Mohan, who last year won the  education 
category in the annual Shoprite/Checkers  Woman of the Year award, 
said: "This programme has  given our pupils a reality check and has 
shown them that they aren't as informed about drugs as they  thought."
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