12 April 2012 20:10

 So far this year, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education course (DARE), a 10 week life-skills education programme designed to provide students with the relevant skills and knowledge in order to help them make informed choices regarding drug use, has been delivered to two fifth year classes at Episkopi Garrison Primary School.
The SBA Police led initiative which has been running for two years for BFC schools, covers various topics including smoking, alcohol abuse, cannabis, volatile substances, bullying and anti-social behaviour.
After completing 10 weeks of one hour sessions, the children finally undergo a graduation ceremony, where their hard work and efforts are acknowledged.
The children not only adapt various skills for living safe and healthy lifestyles but simultaneously enjoy the course, as they have the chance to practice teamwork skills by working closely in their DARE teammates and learn to respect each others opinions and views.
On March 29, all the children managed to graduate successfully in the presence of their parents, headmaster, teachers and DARE officers, having successfully demonstrated their knowledge throughout the course by role playing and doing PowerPoint presentations on their favourite topics and singing songs.
The WSBA Divisional Commander, David Grant and Deputy Divisional Commander George Kiteos of the SBA Police attended the graduation, presented certificates to the children and congratulated them for their efforts.
One of the course highlights came during a lesson surrounding the use of cannabis, when a drug dog demonstration was performed at the school and drugs hidden by DARE officers were located much to the children’s amazement.
A spokesperson for the DARE programme said: “Although drugs do exist in our environment, the children learn different ways of saying ‘no’ not only to drugs, but also learn ways of resisting different types of pressure imposed by their peers and are further taught various tactics to avoid risky situations.
“The children especially look forward to visiting the SBA Police station where one of the DARE sessions is delivered and they also get a chance to see each police department and discover more about what we do.”