PNP-DEG project R.E.A.D.Y targets grade school students

THE Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) headed by Brigadier General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro is stepping-up its Project R.E.A.D.Y. which is aimed at educating more grade schoolers in the country on the ill-effects of illegal drugs and helping them to  understand that indeed, they are the future of the nation, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

The project teaches Filipino grade schoolers the following: Obedience of the law; Combatting pressure and saying “No” in using illegal drugs; Building moral values and self-esteem; and Learning the decision-making skills during risky situations.

Project R.E.A.D.Y, short for Resistance Education Against Drugs for the Youth was conceptualized based on the PNP Command Memorandum Circular No. 41-2016, signed and approved by then PNP chief-now Senator-elect Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa and supported by his predecessor, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde.

“We are using this project as a tool to capacitate and increase the understanding of our youth about the consequences of using illegal drugs and learning different preventive strategies and techniques to say “No” to all forms of illegal substances that affects the vulnerable sector, our youth,” said Ferro, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989.

Ferro said that Project R.E.A.D.Y. replaces the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, a privately-owned and patented program in the United States being used by the organization a few years back.

Since the U.S.-patented DARE program is subject to copyright infringement, the PNP came up with its own preventive information and education program that is cost effective and responsive to local setting.

The official said the program’s primary mission is to implement a standard preventive information and education program owned by the PNP and not just to educate and protect the youth from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs but also to instill leadership values and sense of social responsibility.

“It actually is envisioned at developing READY officers through the conduct of Training of Trainers from among the qualified police personnel who will serve as lecturers and facilitators of this program,” Ferro explained.

The program’s concept is for male and female officers of the PNP to educate Grade 1 to 12 students from all public and private schools and other learning institutions in the country on the ill-effects of drugs with the end in view of transforming them into much better Filipinos in the future.

“Thus, it is necessary to equip first our police officers with the right teaching and facilitation skills by undertaking the 5-day duration on Training of Trainers (TOT) on Project R.E.A.D.Y.,” he said.

Participants to the program are personnel from the 17 Police Regional Offices preferably those assigned from the Police Community Affairs and Development Division who will serve as ‘multipliers’ to cascade the preventive program to different schools and later on to different civilian volunteer organizations, barangay officials and youth leaders.

“Through this 5-day seminar, committed men and women in uniform will be capacitated with the knowledge in communication, public speaking techniques, and teaching methodologies, to include the incorporation of modeling of different modules to be presented during their actual lecture in their respective schools,” he said.

Ferro said participants are also being evaluated based on their individual one-hour presentation with the facilitator giving them immediate critiquing to correct and further develop their teaching methodologies.

“This is important specially that READY Officers will be dealing with different grade levels, thus different approaches and skills are expected to be utilized,” the official said.

According to Ferro, READY Officers are tasked to cascade their different modules to Grade 1 to Grade 12 students in their areas of jurisdiction. One module will be taught once a week in every classroom for 4 weeks until they finish all four modules.

Ferro said their Project R.E.A.D.Y. is being supervised by Lieutenant Colonel Chery Lou Donato of the PNP-DEG Demand Education and Education Division. The PNP-DEG has been stepping-up its demand reduction strategy thru its drug awareness program which saw 366 police personnel from National Capital Region and Regions 1, 7.3, 10 and 4-A undergoing the training.