By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) have issued policies and guidelines in conducting drug tests for teaching and non-teaching personnel and college students, respectively.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has issued the guidelines on the conduct of authorized drug test for officials and employees – including teaching and non-teaching personnel – under its drug testing program in a DepEd Order dated last July 31.
Chairperson Patricia Licuanan issued a CHED Memorandum Order dated August 2, 2017 allowing universities and colleges to adopt drug testing policy as a requirement for admission or retention of students.
The CHED order allows colleges and universities to require incoming and old students to undergo drug tests before they are admitted or enrolled.
Briones and Licuanan both agreed that the adoption of drug testing policy is needed to help ensure a “drug-free environment” for all learners.
In issuing both policies and guidelines, they underscored the adverse effects drug abuse in the family, workplace and in the public’s safety in general.
“Drug abuse is a complex and multi-faceted psycho-social problem with far-reaching adverse effects,” Briones said.
To ensure the safety of learners, Briones said that teachers – who tested positive for drug use, will be “restricted from handling classes or from activities involving close contact with students while undergoing counselling or rehabilitation.”
Briones stressed that “until the necessary clearances are submitted and an evaluation made that the said teacher does not pose any danger to the students,” the teacher will not be allowed to have contact with the students.
To ensure continuous conduct of classes or activities, Briones said that “a substitute teacher may be hired or assigned.”
Tags: CHED, Department of Education (DepEd), DepEd CHED issue drug test guidelines for teachers staff students, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, higher education, Manila Bulletin, Secretary Leonor Briones