Jean-Philippe Agnero Yedagne
Executive Member of Côte d’Ivoire National English Language Teachers Association (CINELTA) – IVORY COAST
Côte-D’Ivoire, like other West African countries is faced with the alarming phenomenon of substance abuse in schools. ABIDJAN, the country’s economic capital, has drug consumption areas known as smoking rooms, where drugs are purchased and used, where you can find students, resulting in poor school performance.
The Education sector must respond. A group of professional teachers and school counselors in Ivory Coast is committed to taking an active role in helping to protect young people from experiencing harm from alcohol, tobacco and drug use. The strategy of the group is to organize public conferences to raise awareness. In addition, the teachers initiate little questionnaires for data collection. They believe a multi-sector collaboration to prevent substance abuse in Ivorian education community is a pressing need for the country. The introduction of drug education in schools is urgent.
The country which is the economic power house of Francophone West Africa is becoming a major transit hub for heroin and cocain trafficking, resulting in growing substance abuse problems the country is currently facing.
The alarming observation of early drug abuse in secondary schools is resulting not only in poor school performance but rampant school violence and frequent exclusions. According to a survey, 8 to 29 percent of students were involved in drug abuse. As a consequence, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in collaboration with the Ministry of Education organized a training workshop, supporting the launch of a school-based drug prevention tool in September 2018.