HEC seeks policy for drug tests at campuses

Published: January 3, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has demanded of the federal government to devise a policy and grant funds for carrying out drug screening at the universities.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology which met at the Parliament House on Thursday under the chairmanship of Senator Mushtaq Ghani discussed the issue of use of drugs at the universities.

The HEC officials briefed the committee about the issuance of guidelines for random drug screening that would make the campuses smoke and drug free.

The committee was informed that awareness campaigns had been underway and students were encouraged to identify those  who were involved in the use of drugs.

The panel was told that currently only drug addicts were being reached out for screening and rehabilitation.

“A policy would be needed to initiate random drug screening for which more human resource as well as testing labs will be required,” said one of HEC officials.

The HEC observed that it had a zero-tolerance policy toward the use of drugs and it had directed the universities to ensure drug-free environment at the campuses.

The committee suggested conducting random drug tests, signing MoUs with NGOs, using peer pressure and reaching out to the source of drug trafficking in order to root out menace of drug addiction from the campuses.

The committee directed to issue Rs21 billion for the HEC.

The meeting also decided to call ANF in the next meeting to have their views on the issue.

Senators Nuzhat Sadiq, Sassui Palijo, Gianchand, Syed Sabir Shah, Science and Technology secretary and officials from HEC attended the session.

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