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N Touch
Thursday 22 February 2018

Parents back smoking ban

The National Parent Teachers’ Association (NPTA) has thrown its support behind the Education Ministry’s move to ban alcohol and tobacco from school compounds, saying young people should be taught that they can have a good time without smoking and drinking.

The ministry’s new policy prohibits tobacco and alcohol companies from distributing free, reduced, or fully-priced products in schools, it bans all tobacco and alcohol advertising and the selling, promotion, and consumption of alcohol on school compounds, including school functions, bazaars or frolics.

In an interview, the NPTA President Zena Ramatali yesterday said the NPTA had not received a copy of the policy, but hoped to get one as soon as possible to review the contents. She said it could serve as the impetus for parents and teachers to come together for its implementation.

Ramatali said she did not believe the policy would adversely impact on school bazaars and other events.

She said many non-alcoholic drinks were available and “young people can have a good time without consuming alcohol.” She said she hoped teachers also heeded to the rules when they had their “get-togethers.”

Ramatali said teachers and students smoked, and she said she hoped the Education Ministry would consider hosting ongoing workshops to assist parents in promoting healthy lifestyles at home.

Queen’s Royal College principal William Carter also said he had not seen the new policy and had not received a circular about it from the ministry.

He could not comment on it, but said QRC like all Government and assisted schools had to abide by the directives of the Education Ministry.

Carter said a ministry policy which has already been in existence for a number of years stated that no alcohol should be served in functions attended by students. “We have always abided by that,” he said.

Asked if the annual Chefs Royale hosted by the alumni of the school would be affected, Carter said that function as well as the Carnival fete were for adults. He said if parents chose to bring their children, then the youths were under the jurisdiction of their parents.

However, he reiterated that as a Government-owned institution, the school abided by the directives of the ministry.

Attempts to get official comment from denominational schools proved futile.


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