Wednesday 10 August 2016

Drug taking, learning, and vocational education

Image result for marijuana
The article below reveals what those of us in the sector know - Marijuana is a huge problem in the vocational sector, and no one except the tutors ever talk about or acknowledge it. I have had many experiences with students who are as high as a kite in my classes.  It is very difficult to deal with for several reasons.  

Number one: The learners don't retain ANY of the content they engage with while stoned. It's often back to square one - again.  

Number two: If you expel the learners you have ended their last opportunity for success. The stakes are VERY high. The argument about them taking responsibility for their actions breaks down when you realise the Government took responsibility for their actions long ago. That train has left the station.  Think through what the outcome is and comment if you want me to add to this.     

Number three:  In certain sectors (see horticulture and agriculture below) it is not restricted to several learners but typically the majority. 

Waiariki appear to be doing a GREAT job, with their tough but supportive approach.  Way to go guys.

Read the article below or click the title.

Waiariki drug testing a positive

DRUG testing at Waiariki Institute of Technology has encouraged a student to give up drugs.
Tristin Te Pou, 20, is an automotive student at the Whakatane campus and was the only person to fail the compulsory drug test at the beginning of the semester in June.
As a regular cannabis smoker, Miss Te Pou was eager to quit when she enrolled at Waiariki.
“I wasn’t aware of the drug test but when I was accepted three days after I enrolled, I was keen to give up.”
She had been drug-free for two weeks before she was tested and when the result came back positive for drugs she wasn’t shocked or surprised, but eager to produce a clean test in a week’s time.
“It was a realisation. I knew it was going to be like that because of the amount I smoked. But I had time to get rid of everything.”
She was given a week to re-do the test and in that time she did all she could to “sweat it out”.
“I did exercise, skipping and walked over town to my friend’s house on a really hot day. I did anything to get it out of my system.”
She said it was emotional for her because she really wanted to continue the course and was relieved when the next test was clear.
Miss Te Pou said it was fair that Waiariki made students take drug tests because some industry positions required them to be unsupervised and being drug-free would mean “they were on”.
Waiariki automotive tutor David Ball said he was proud of Miss Te Pou and her effort to become drug-free to continue the course.
Mr Ball, a tertiary tutor who has been at Waiariki for three months, said he thought the compulsory drug testing was a positive for many reasons – for potential employers and the students themselves.
He said potential employers were more open to offering work experience and for the students it was a sense of pride that they could accomplish something and work toward a higher goal.
The institute began compulsory drug testing of all trades programme applicants earlier this year.
Waiariki regional development manager Greg Brimmer said at Whakatane those trade programmes were in the automotive, construction, agriculture and horticulture fields.
Of 17 students enrolled in the horticulture course for semester one, only two were clean, Mr Brimmer said.
He said none of those students wanted to re-take the drug test, which meant the class had to be cancelled that semester. In semester two 16 students are enrolled and will take the drug test this week. Mr Brimmer expected most would pass.
He said in the construction course three out of 17 students failed, but two resat two weeks later and passed.
Five agriculture students failed the compulsory drug test.
“To pass the next, they attended a boot camp run by the tutor and passed two weeks later.
“If you want to work, you have to be drug free.
“It’s a good move for this area because it’s been a high usage location, particularly for marijuana,” Mr Brimmer said.
He said there had been no drop in enrolments at the Whakatane campus. The year-to-date roll was 545 students.
In the full 2015 year, 798 students were enrolled at the Whakatane campus, in 2014 there were 758 and in 2013 736.

1 comment:

  1. Industry can lead this in some sectors like forestry and engineering. But in YG and other training focusing on second chance learners it's going to be hard... impossible perhaps. The trend overseas is to legalise marijuana like in some parts of the US. There's money to be made in legal marijuana so perhaps we'll see that here at some stage. The impact of drugs and alcohol on teen brain development is well documented including the impact on the frontal cortex which keeps developing until mid 20s. Reading between the lines, it looks like interventions at early childhood and primary school might work, but after that it's pretty hopeless for many - perhaps until they "wake up" in their 30s and 40s. I'd love to see you say what you're holding back on... Perhaps, you are questioning the value of tax payer investment in vocational training the way that it's currently set up, particularly if the learners are all stoned and can't retain anything. What to do with these guys then? Personally, I'm going to wait until I'm well beyond being any use to society and take up recreational drug use in my 70s and 80s...