CHENNAI: Based on the instructions of the school education department, chief educational officers have asked headmasters and teachers to check if the students are using banned tobacco products and drugs. They have also been asked to ensure that doctors look for tooth stains while checking the students during medical camps.
In a circular, Chengalpattu chief educational officer has asked the headmasters and teachers to inform the police about the shops that sell banned tobacco products in the vicinity of the schools. “The details of the complaint should also be sent to CEO’s office.
If students are found using tobacco products like Cool Lip or drugs, those students should be given counselling. School management along with the police, health department, food safety officials, NSS and NCC cadets should spread awareness against banned tobacco products and drugs,” said the circular. Similar directives were also sent to schools in other districts, said sources.
In August this year, the school education secretary asked all the educational institutions to create anti-drug clubs in schools to spread awareness against drug abuse. Membership in the clubs is voluntary for students from Class 9 onwards. “As per our knowledge, nearly 30% of the students use banned tobacco products that are sold in shops with different code names,” said a headmaster from Namakkal.
However, teachers said the usage of tobacco products continues despite the awareness programmes and counselling. “Though we are informing about the shops selling these products to the students, we are not sure what action is being taken. Students still manage to get these products. We urge the government to take strict action against the shops selling them,” said a member of Tamil Nadu PG Teachers’ Association.