Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett

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    Government launches school drug education initiative

    1/09/2000 9:45 AM
     
    1/9/00

    Western Australian schools are to have a new program to help students develop drug education knowledge, attitudes and skills for healthy active lifestyles in the vulnerable and busy Year 11 and 12 high school years.

    Opening the inaugural two-day School Drug Education Project Forum - ROC ON! FORUM - at Hillarys today, Education Minister Colin Barnett said the forum had attracted 100 members from the 16 Western Australian regional drug education organising committees.

    Mr Barnett said the new program would provide Year 11 and 12 and TAFE staff with a range of health and drug education strategies.

    He said strategies - both within and outside the curriculum and across all learning areas - would transcend the competing demands on students and school time.

    “This is particularly relevant because peak levels of experimentation and drug use among young people often occurs at the age of 16 and 17 years,” the Minister said.

    “Clearly other options need to be provided to upper school students to ensure they access relevant health information during this important time of their lives.

    “The post compulsory years of schooling are a crucial time for students to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to make informed decisions about their own and others’ health and welfare.”

    Mr Barnett said other topics to be discussed at the Forum included working with parents of young drug users, police response to the Perth drug scene, a youth friendly GP program, music in drug education and drug education for Aboriginal students.

    He said Curtin University’s evaluation of the School Drug Education Project had shown some very positive outcomes including:
    • schools involved in the project were three times more likely to have a formal drug education policy in place and were supported by the wider community;
    • involvement by schools in the program lead to involvement of parents;and -
    • ninety-seven per cent of schools involved in the project had used the cross-curriculum teacher support materials.

    Media contact : Diana Callander 9222 9699