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Instruction in schools on drug abuse prevention must not only include the teaching of related information to students,but must also be enhanced from the viewpoint of installing in students the basic attitude that drugs should never be abused,nor should the abuse of drugs be forgiven.MESSC promotes instruction on drug abuse prevention in schools aimed at deepening the understanding of students.Lower secondary school students are taught in Health and Physical Education(health-related areas)that actions such as"smoking,drinking and drug abuse have various mental and physical effects,and can lead to illness."Upper secondary school students are taught about"the influence of smoking,drinking and drug abuse on health and the proper use of medicine"in Health and Physical Education(curriculum health).In addition,due to the increasing number of younger drug abusers,it is becoming important to tailor instruction at elementary schools on drug abuse prevention in accordance with the child's developmental stage,in relation with instruction through Physical Education(health fields)classes on"preventing illness"and leading a"healthy life."Furthermore,at each school level it is also important to make greater use of educational counseling and other student guidance,and to give positive instruction on drug abuse prevention in Moral Education and Special Activities,from a standpoint which considers respect of oneself as well as of others,observation of social order and customs,and working toward sound mental and physical development and promoting health.The July1998report of the Curriculum Council pointed out1)Physical Education(health fields)in elementary schools should contain drug abuse prevention,and2)this content should be stressed in Health and Physical Education(bealth-related areas)in lower secondary schools.In response,MESSC is making efforts to enhance instruction on drug abuse prevention in its revision to the Courses of Study.
MESSC has been making efforts to enhance the quality of teachers by incorporating education on drug abuse prevention at central training sessions for health education and safety education instructors,and central training sessions for teachers,as well as by holding central training sessions and prefectural training sessions for nurse teachers since FY1997.
In order to clearly and correctly instruct students about the harm and danger posed by drugs,it is necessary to appropriately utilize educational materials for students and reference materials for teachers prepared by the central and local governments.With regard to educational materials for students,in FY1996 MESSC prepared a16mm film for lower and upper secondary school students,which was distributed to audiovisual libraries in each prefecture.In addition,in FY1997,MESSC made pamphlets(one version for lower secondary school students,and one for upper secondary school students)which were distributed to lower and upper secondary schools across Japan,and also produced a video for upper secondary school students which was distributed to upper secondary schools nationwide.Furthermore,continuing on from FY1997,pamphlets will be newly prepared and distributed in FY1998,and a video for lower secondary school students distributed to lower secondary schools nationwide.With regard to reference materials for teachers,MESSC prepared and distributed three versions of a Handbook for Instruction on the Prevention of Smoking Drinking and Drug Abuse to elementary,lower and upper secondary schools respectively.In addition,in FY1997,MESSC created and distributed new instructional materials on drug abuse prevention to lower and upper secondary schools.
Educational Materials for Students and Reference Materials for Teachers on Drug Abuse Prevention Prepared by MESSC(1)Educational materials for students For lower and upper secondary school students:Lead a Healthy Life-say"No"to Drugs(film)For lower secondary school students:Have the Strength to Say"No!"(pamphlet)For upper secondary school students:I Will Never Use Drugs(pamphlet)Lost Freedom(video)(2)Reference materials for teachers For elementary schools:Handbook for Instruction on the Prevention of Smoking,Drinking and Drug Abuse(Elementary school version)For lower secondary schools:Handbook for Instruction on the Prevention of Smoking,Drinking and Drug Abuse(Lower secondary school version)Instruction on Drug Abuse Prevention-Lnstructional Material(Lower secondary school version)For upper secondary schools:Handbook for Instruction on the Prevention of Smoking,Drinking and Drug Abuse(Upper secondary school version)Instruction on Drug Abuse Prevention-Lnstructional Material(Upper secondary school version
MESSC has guided prefectural boards of education to hold drug abuse prevention classes in cooperation with the National Police Agency and the Ministry of Health and Welfare,employing police staff and retired narcotics officers.Furthermore,along with the Five-Year Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy in Japan,from FY1998,MESSC will make efforts to promote the holding of such classes annually at all lower and upper secondary schools in Japan.
One of the problems discovered among the results of the"Survey of Students'Awareness of Drugs"was that children have little awareness of the dThgers of drugs.In response to this,MESSC issued notifications to all prefectural boards of education in October1997in an attempt to provide more thorough education on the prevention of the abuse of stimulants and other drugs by students.In addition,in response to the adoption of the Five-Year Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy in Japan,and otber measures,MESSC issued further notifications in June1998to all prefectural boards of education,including the"Annual Holding of Drug Abuse Prevention Classes in All Lower and Upper Secondary Schools."
MESSC has been implementing model projects since FY1998.These projects involve the organization of committees with prefectural boards of education(education centers,etc.)at the center,comprised of police staff,doctors and pharmacists,to carry out practical research on how to develop a support system for education on drug abuse prevention at schools,including developing educational materials for students,preparing reference materials for teachers,and studying how to utilize outside instructors.
It is important that the problem of drug abuse is tackled not only by schools but also by families and communities working together.From this aspect,MESSC is asking PTAs and youth organizations for cooperation to enhance education on drug abuse prevention from their respective standpoints,and is working together and cooperating closely with these groups.
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