RAUTAHAT, NOVEMBER 22
More school going students have started taking drugs after schools shut down for more than seven months following the outbreak of coronavirus in Rautahat.
Locals say school students have fallen prey to drugs as schools have remained closed due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Head teacher Narayan Bahadur Karki of Durga Secondary School located at Thada tole of Chandrapur Municipality said prolonged school closure had pushed students into addiction.
“Students have fallen into drug addiction due to peer pressure,” said head teacher Karki.
According to Karki, around eight to ten students drop out of school due to drug addiction every year.
Janajyoti Secondary School at Chandrapur Bazaar has not run classes for over eight months now. Students have a lot of free time and this has increased the risk of young children falling prey to drug addiction, said head teacher Shankar Bhattarai.
Nepal was home to 130,424 drug users last year. Of them, 122,000 are males while around 9,000 are females.
Students mostly take marijuana, opium and sniff drugs in the district, say police. The number of drug users has increased due to peer pressure, tension and for entertainment.
Data at Rautahat Education Development and Coordination Unit show that around 10 per cent students dropped out of school in the previous academic session. “We do not have exact number of students who dropped out of school due to drug addiction,” said Rautahat Education Development and Coordination Unit Chief Ram Binay Singh.
Mayor Ram Chandra Chaudhary of Chandrapur Municipality said that his office would provide training to students and launch an awareness programme against drugs. “Since people commit crimes due to drug consumption, we have to be serious about stopping students from doing drugs,” Chaudhary stressed.
Janajyoti Multiple Campus Lecturer Rajan Shrestha urged parents and guardians to show love and affection towards their growing children and provide them timely guidance and counselling to stop them from falling into wrong hands.
“Many children start doing drugs as parents do not give time to their kids,” added Shrestha.
A version of this article appears in print on November 23, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.