Education minister claims test was not meant to teach kids how to use drugs

By Joy Lee, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) yesterday said that controversial anti-drug teaching material only aims to raise students’ awareness — not to teach them how to take drugs.

The scholar who reviewed the teaching material said that knowing drug-taking methods is critical to resisting the temptation of using them.

The Ministry of Education’s (MOE) anti-drug Echinacea Campaign website provides many teaching materials and questions for students. One of the multiple-choice questions asks students to choose the correct way to take ketamine. Chiang said that the MOE’s teaching materials were meant to increase students’ anti-drug knowledge.

“The disputed question only briefly describes some methods of taking ketamine and lets students know what could be some suspicious situations or behaviors to help them avoid unwittingly taking drugs,” said Chiang.

The head of the MOE’s Department of Student Affairs and Special Education Liu Chung-cheng (劉仲成) said that the anti-drug teaching materials would help students distinguish what taking drugs is like and be able to report any suspicious behaviors.

Cheng said “students would understand what behaviors are related to drug-taking by learning the teaching materials, and knowing how to say no to drugs.”

National Taiwan Normal University professor Kuo Chung-lung (郭鍾隆) said that the first step for students to avoid taking drug is to learn how to identify drug use.

“It is similar to letting students know the possible ways of being sexually assaulted in order to teach them how to avoid it,” Kuo said.