The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) and related partner organisations are preparing educational documents in an effort to prevent and control illicit drug use in schools.

The materials are planned to be introduced in schools across the country in 2021.

Soeur Socheata, an undersecretary of state at the ministry and head of the working group on the development of lesson plans to prevent and control illicit drug use told The Post on Tuesday that the goal is to provide knowledge on the dangers of drugs.

The material for primary school has 15 lessons divided into four chapters and for secondary education, there are 15 lessons divided into three chapters.

“The design of this educational document is according to the ministry’s policy on school health. We started organising this educational document at the beginning of March and are now editing it.

“The educational document is a free textbook for primary and secondary schools,” Socheata said.

She said the textbook is 75 per cent complete, and that the educational document is designed to be a one-time learning and teaching document that includes case studies for students’ critical thinking skills and enables them to implement learning activities too.

“We began the work of designing this document in March and scheduled to finish it in 2021. After completing the design we will need more partners to publish it,” she said.

Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Soveacha said on Monday that a decline in illicit drug use in schools is improving the quality of education in Cambodia.

He said the lesson plans will educate against illegal drug use by focusing on prevention.

“This work is a continuous collaboration between the ministry, the General Secretariat of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, the private sector and development partners such as Plan International Cambodia and Cambodia ACT,” he said.

“Collectively, this work is part of the Education Strategic Plan for 2019-2023 and towards 2030. The Ministry of Education is committed to achieving sustainable development goals based on the principles of quality, equity, inclusive education, and lifelong learning for all,” he added.

He said the ministry and its partners will review the content and consider pilot programmes in various forms, including classroom, case studies, review, peer networks, and regional pedagogical schools in the target cities and provinces.

NACD Director Lim Tong Huot said on Monday that the design of the educational document is aimed at strengthening the prevention and control of drug use inside and outside of schools.

“This document is designed to help students and other stakeholders understand how to prevent drug problems altogether because if families are without drugs, the community will be safe,” he said.