- 23 secondary schools in Tai Po joined hands in formulating and implementing the “Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing in Tai Po District” (the Trial Scheme) in school years 2009/10 and 2010/11.
- The Evaluation Research Report for the Trial Scheme (the Report) has found that the Trial Scheme has had a positive impact on enhancing students’ resolve to stay away from drugs, building an anti-drug culture in schools and triggering the motivation of those in need to seek help.
- Early concerns from stakeholders (including teachers, students and parents) such as the possible labelling effect and adverse impact on the parent-child relationship, student-teacher relationship, and upon parents’ and students’ trust in schools were not borne out by the evidence.
- The Report also pointed out that drug testing should not be seen as a standalone panacea, but a key preventive and deterrent part of a comprehensive programme to implement the healthy school policy. The focus of the drug testing scheme should be educational in nature, aimed at helping students cultivate positive attitudes and correct values, promoting harmony between students and their schools, and strengthening the anti-drug culture on the school campus.
- In response to the recommendations of the Report, combined with the accumulated experience from the Trial Scheme, the Government decided to further develop school drug testing in Hong Kong through the implementation of a Healthy School Programme with a drug testing component (HSP(DT)). Schools are encouraged to partner with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to organise various types of anti-drug activities and complementary preventive programmes to suit the different needs of students as part of the healthy school policy.
What is the Healthy School Programme with a Drug Testing Component (HSP(DT))?
- HSP(DT) is a school-based programme comprising diversified anti-drug programmes and a drug testing component.
- In addition to the component of drug testing, HSP(DT) also consists of other elements such as anti-drug education and physical activities to develop positive habits and attitude towards life for students, as well as support programmes for parents and teachers playing an important role in providing necessary counselling and support to students in need.
- HSP(DT) includes programmes covering educational, counselling, supportive and drug testing aspects.
- Participation from schools is voluntary. In addition to district-based arrangements like the Trial Scheme, individual groupings or cross-district clusters, for example, schools under the same school sponsoring body, can also implement the HSP(DT) that will best suit their particular circumstances.