Efficacy of the anti-drug education by the drug enforcement commission in combating drug abuse among youths in Zambia: the case of two high schools in Lusaka, Zambia
Anolt L H Moonga, Claress Chilufya Chiwisha
The study was undertaken to explore the effectiveness of the drug prevention education by the Drug Enforcement Commission in extenuating the drug scourge among the youth in Zambia. The target population was boys at high schools. Data was collected from pupils and teachers at high schools and officers from the Education unit of the Drug Enforcement Commission in Zambia. The study sought to identify the common material, methodologies and expertise used in anti-drug education, establish their effectiveness in combating drug abuse among the youth and determine the context in which drug prevention education took place. A survey research design was employed with a purposefully selected sample of forty four (44) respondents. Interview guides and questionnaires were used to collect data from DEC officers and teachers on one hand, and pupils on the other respectively. The data from the questionnaires was analysed using frequency distribution tables and percentages while first-hand information from the interviews was recorded according to emerging themes. The findings of the study were that material and methodologies used to disseminate drug prevention education were not very effective. Schools did stock relevant literature with information on drugs. The commonly used methodology, though with limitations of language especially among pupils, who in most cases fail to articulate issues in English, was debate. The findings further revealed that the context for drug prevention education was limited to schools which disadvantaged the out-of-school youths who are also susceptible to drugs. It was also discovered that drug prevention education lacked the required expertise to conduct it as most of the officers involved had no pedagogical or adragogical experience. The study concluded that drug prevention education in Zambia was not effective. It was recommended that stakeholders should use suitable media, resources, methodologies and personnel to improve the provision of this education. The officers involved in the dissemination of the anti-drug education should be appropriately trained and use diverse contexts for effective delivery.