Cotabato teachers to undergo random drug tests

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/18 May) – The Department of Education (DepEd) in North Cotabato will conduct random drug tests among a select group of their teaching personnel and office staff.

The tests will be performed “anytime” as soon as the regional DepEd office completes the policies and guidelines for holding such tests.

In an interview Thursday, schools division superintendent Omar Obas said a number of their nurses and other staff have just finished training for the random drug tests.

The province has at least 10,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel.

Obas clarified that the tests would not violate the teachers’ rights.

“I saw the wisdom. Teachers are supposed to be models of our youth. If they’re engaged in drug trafficking, how can they teach values to their students?” he said.

If the plan pushes through, this would be the first time teachers would undergo drug tests.

In July 2009, the DepEd, in coordination with the Dangerous Drugs Board, conducted random drug testing of students in public and private secondary schools.

Those who tested positive underwent counseling and treatment. The results were kept confidential. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)