Story: BFC Media Ops
A group of 55 students from Year 5 of Episkopi Garrison Primary school have become the latest graduates of the SBA Police’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) course.
During the course, which is designed for students aged between nine and 11, they were given the skills and knowledge to make safe and healthy choices in relation to drug use, violence and anti-social behaviour.
They were also taught about dealing with peer pressure and how to avoid being involved in various other risky situations.
The SBA Police-led initiative, which has been running for five years now across BFC schools, covers various topics, including tobacco, alcohol abuse, cannabis, volatile substances and dealing with dilemmas, where the pupils practice their learning skills by role playing.
They are also given the opportunity to practice working in teams in order to encourage mutual respect and to highlight the importance of listening to other views and opinions.
After having completed the 10 week course, the student’s participation and hard work were acknowledged at the official graduation ceremony, in the presence of their teachers, parents and many officials, including the SBA Police Divisional Commander, Nigel Avron, Deputy Divisional Commander, George Kiteos and the SBAA Chief Officer, Phillip Rushbrook.
Having completed the course, many of the students pointed to a visit to the SBA Police station as one of the highlights.
During the visit, the students were given the opportunity to see many of the devices and equipment used by police officers in the course of carrying out their duties.
And on the last day of the course, a surprise awaited the students in the school yard, when a drug sniffer dog demonstration took place and a small quantity of drugs hidden by a dog handler was discovered.
Superintendent George Kiteos said: “The DARE programme has proven to be a great success amongst BFC schools and the SBA Police will continue to deliver the course in the future because it has been found to have an extremely positive affect on the students.”