Dáil Éireann - Volume 495 - 03 November, 1998

Written Answers. - Substance Misuse.

681. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will make recommendations to Cabinet to allow his Department extend its vital role in substance misuse prevention initiatives with particular reference to funding for an organisation (details supplied) in Dublin 11; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21288/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): My Department's focus is on support for the development of educational programmes in schools and in the youth services for the prevention of substance misuse. This support is provided through the development of educational resource materials on substance misuse and through in-career development programmes for teachers. In the context of the youth services, support is also provided through funding for youth projects.

My Department is finalising, at present, a set of educational resource materials on substance misuse prevention for primary schools, having previously developed materials for post-primary schools. Substance misuse prevention education will be included as part of social, personal and health education in the revised curriculum for primary schools and it is envisaged that this subject will be introduced, as well, to the junior cycle curriculum at post-primary level. When the initiative on resource materials for primary schools is completed I intend to review the provision made and consider what additional resources are required.

As regards the organisation referred to in details supplied I understand that the National Drugs Strategy Team on which my Department is represented is considering training issues impacting on a range of providers mainly in the non-formal education sector. Consideration of any detailed proposal for funding for the organisation referred to would appear to be more appropriate in that context.