Under UNODC ROSA Project G-86's drug abuse prevention programme in schools, a three- day training was conducted for teachers from 20 Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) schools across Delhi from the 27th to 29th of August, 2008.
In February 2008, a training program was conducted with the DAV schools of Ranchi, Jharkhand, India. The enormous success of this workshop solicitated a felt need for greater awareness on substance abuse prevention in schools encouraging the DAV administration in Delhi to seek the programme again for their schools. However, the workshop was not only limited to the DAV schools. A few other schools who had heard of the programme joined in too.
During the training program, teachers were introduced to the types of substances, reasons for abuse, live skills training to help students say no and develop a greater sense of self, confidence and well- being. Classroom scenarios were simulated to give teachers an understanding of how they could initiate discussions with their students. The workshop was highly interactive; small skits, plays, role plays by participants added to the positive synergy.
Some teachers emphasized the need to include parents in the efforts to prevent young people from experimenting with drugs and other harmful substances. As a result, many pledged to go back to their respective school authorities to develop a session on prevention, especially introducing it at the Parent Teacher Association meetings. Other significant suggestions were made to take this programme forward, for instance, some teachers recommended that every subject teacher must devote an hour a month from their class for a discussion or activity on substance abuse prevention.
"This workshop not only bought forth for discussion aspects unknown to me on the issue of substance abuse but after this workshop I also feel better equipped to talk to my students about it" - a participant (Teacher, DAV).
The commitment and enthusiasm shown by the schools proves that the students, parents and teachers of these schools were made suitably aware of issues surrounding substance abuse and the need for prevention. UNODC is hopeful that once the programme is integrated in to the co-curricular activities of these schools and the 'I Decide' clubs are started, these students will take the message to many more schools.