Educators experiences on the prevalence of drugs and intervention programs within schools in the Phoenix area.
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The issue of drugs is extremely sensitive and prevalent regarding children abusing these substances. Drug use is a phenomenon that is across South Africa, polluting our schools and killing our future generations. There are strategies and infrastructure provided by government authorities. However, there is a lack of intervention and prevention carried out by the stakeholders of the South African school learner. Studies focus on statistics and ignore the actual impact of the use of drugs by school learners. The statistics of the minority of learners easily influence or distract the majority of learners; this study reveals the effect of the use of drugs in a school environment and expose the lack of intervention by stakeholders. The first objective of this study is to establish the prevalence of drugs in two schools in the Phoenix area, which is, situated North of KwaZulu-Natal. These schools will be referred to as School A and School B. The study explores educator’s experiences regarding drug related offences and crimes, ascertain educator’s views on factors that contribute to drug related crimes in School A and School B, lastly this study ascertains if there are any intervention strategies practiced in School A and School B. The purpose behind educator’s as the participants and key informants of this dissertation, is that educators have the most valuable knowledge about learners in schools, they are aware of changes which occur in learner’s behaviour, the background of learners and the status of learners. The theoretical framework of this study employed sociological theories such as the Anomie Theory, Social control and self-control theory, social learning and subcultural theory and the theory of selective interaction. The determination behind the use of these theories is due to the diverse backgrounds, which school learners originate from in the Phoenix Area. The researcher employed a qualitative methodology, as this method of research focuses more on the actual issue and allows the researcher to explore and gain insight rather than the significance of statistics. The outcome of this study demonstrated that drugs do exist in School A and School B. The result of the study was shocking, as participants claimed to be aware of parents whom allow learners to sell drugs, consume drugs and work for drug lords. Educator’s experiences include incidents of possession of drugs to issues whereby learners sell homemade drugs and alcohol. The factors of drugs use by learner’s stem from sociological problems, and are further explained by the nominated theories. Although the Department of Education has employed methods of intervention, this research has found that the bare minimum has been done to implement these programs and save learners from the vulnerability of drugs in this population. Educators claim that, stakeholders of this community have not done enough. This dissertation has successfully achieved all objectives, by demonstrating that educators do experience issues of drug use in school, educators are aware of drug crimes which learners conduct in school and that there is a lack of implementation by stakeholders of the school learning environment. Educators were also able to identify the lack of social control, poverty and peer-pressure as contributing factors to drug use by school learners.