KARACHI: A recent report on drug abuse in educational institutions across the country is quite disturbing. The data presented by the national anti-narcotics watchdog portrays the awful truth of what goes behind closed doors of our universities and colleges.
Student after student indulge in drug taking. The findings of the data shows that since 2016, at least 9,885kgs of heroin, 1,440kgs of hashish and 33kgs of opium were seized in special raids conducted on educational institutions. There is no doubt that the efforts of the team should be lauded for arresting around 412 accused of selling drugs at institutions. But, unfortunately, such a raid and resultant arrests remain a limited approach in curbing the vast drug abuse among teenagers, prevalent in our society.
After the data, many private institutions may adopt stricter rules and probably, conduct bag checks every day. But what they wouldn’t be doing is conducting a check within the education system they provide, which is so competitive that it not only cripples students’ creative thinking but also makes them resort to drugs to relieve stress.
The extensive drug abuse is just a reminder of the burden educational institutions in the country put on students. Many cases of suicides reported from Pakistan’s best campuses provide only one side of the cut-throat competition. Drug abuse is the other, more appalling, overview, which doesn’t fade away with one’s death. Instead, only grows and affect people in their daily lives, even after they graduate.
In order to completely limit drug abuse in the country, a multi-layered approach will be required including all the stakeholders. And on top of the pyramid should be the deans of our educational institutions, who have an immediate control over the lives of our students. Relaxing education environment will go a long way in contributing to the country in positive ways.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2017.