A Twelve Member consultative Committee has been inaugurated in Accra to combat drug menace in schools.

The formation of the Committee, which was at the instance of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is to first and foremost identify the sources and causes of the increase in the use of drugs in schools across the country.

Additionally, the Committee is to recommend to the President, proposals to be discussed with stakeholders, including religious bodies, education facilities, managers and civil society organisations, on the ways to combat the drug menace in schools across the country.

Inaugurating the Committee on Tuesday, 24th September, 2019, the Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery indicated that the instituting of the Committee was in line with His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s objective to halt the intake and abuse of illicit drugs by the youth, particularly those in the Senior High Schools.

“This Committee is therefore tasked to examine the problem of the intake and abuse of illicit drugs by the youth and to submit policy proposals for combating the drug menace” he said.

The Minister noted that, the drug menace had become one of the serious social problems in many developing countries including Ghana accounting for the abnormal behaviours of the youth.

Mr. Dery, mentioned the effects of illicit drug usage on the youth to include poor academic performance, increase absenteeism in schools, increased hostility towards other people and self-exclusion.

Signs of physical deterioration eg, memory losses, short attention span and difficulty in concentration is also an effect of usage of illicit drugs.

The Minister, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, congratulated the members on their nomination unto the committee and charged them to discharge their work with all assiduousness to achieve the Committee’s objectives.

“You all, as representative of key stakeholders in the fight against the drug menace bring on board vast expertise and knowledge to deal with this canker.

I therefore expect all members to be innovative and creative to enable the Committee successfully achieve its objective in connection with the terms of reference” he said.

The Minister expressed confidence in the composition of the Committee and accordingly pledged the full support of government to the Committee to enable it discharge on its responsibilities.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Mr. Bright Appiah, Executive Director of Child Rights International and Chairperson for the Committee expressed appreciation to His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for appointing them unto the committee and pledged the committee’s readiness to work to achieve the set objectives.

“We promise to do our best to deliver on what is expected of us. We will work with commitment and loyalty” Mr. Appiah said.

The other members of the Committee are Mrs. Gladys Ghartey, Chief Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance; Mr David Ayidzoe, Director for Statistics, Research and Information Management, Ministry of Education; Mr Kwesi Assan-Brew, Director of Administration, Ministry of the Interior; Mr Decardi Nelson, Director, Legal, Ministry of National Security and Madam Florence Ayisi-Quartey, Director of Children Affairs, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Others are Madam Phyllis Sakyi-Djan, Acting Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Customs Laboratory, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority; Madam Delese Darko, Chief Executive, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Madam Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, also of the FDA.

The rest are, Mr Frank Lartey, Director, Research, Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Youth Authority and a representative each from the Christian and Islamic Communities.

The Committee is expected to submit its report in thirty days.