Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for the Interior on Tuesday inaugurated a 12-member consultative committee to combat the drug menace in schools.
Members of the Committee include Mrs Gladys Ghartey, Chief Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance; Mr David Ayidzoe, Director for Statistics, Research and Information Management, Ministry of Education; Mr Kwesi Assan-Brew, Director of Administration, Ministry of the Interior; Mr Decardi Nelson, Director, Legal, Ministry of National Security and Madam Florence Ayisi-Quartey, Director of Children Affairs, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Others are Madam Phyllis Sakyi-Djan, Acting Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Customs Laboratory, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority; Madam Delese Darko, Chief Executive, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Madam Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, also of the FDA.
The rest are Mr Bright Appiah, Executive Director, Child Rights International, Mr Frank Lartey, Director, Research, Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Youth Authority and a representative each from the Christian and Islamic Communities.
Mr Dery said the Committee, which had 30 days to present its report, is being established in line with the objective of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to halt the intake and abuse of illicit drugs by the youth, particularly those in the senior high schools (SHSs).
Mr Dery tasked the Committee to examine the problems in many developing countries including Ghana; stating that it was an undeniable fact that it had become a principal cause of abnormal behaviours on the part of the youth.
He said the effects of illicit drug usage on the youth included signs of physical deterioration such as memory losses, short attention span and difficulty in concentration.
Others were increase absentism in schools, poor academic performance and increased hostility towards other people and self-exclusion.
He said the committee members, as representatives of key stakeholders in the fight against the drug menace bring on board vast experience and knowledge to deal with the canker of drug menace.
“I therefore, expect all members to be able to be innovative and creative to enable the Committee successfully achieve its objectives.
The terms of reference of the Committee include to identify the sources and causes of the drugs in schools across the country; and to recommend to the President, proposals to be discussed with stakeholders, including religious bodies, education facilities, managers and civil society organisations, on the ways to combat the drug menace in schools across the country.
Madam Rose Tsorhey, Director, Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of the Interior, expressed the hope that at the end of the day, the Committee would come out with a roadmap that would protect the Ghanaian youth from the menace of drugs.
Mr Appiah on the behalf of his colleagues expressed gratitude to the President for the honour done them, adding that the Committee would deliver on its given mandate.
Present at the meeting was Mr Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister of the Interior.