Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research
Vol. 10 (2021), Article ID 236147, 7 pages
Teaching Competency of Teachers for Curbing Drug and Substance Abuse (DSA)
in Malaysian Secondary Schools
Ciptro Handrianto1, Ahmad Jazimin Jusoh1*, Pauline Swee Choo Goh1, Nazre Abdul Rashid2, Azizi Abdullah3
and M. Arinal Rahman4
1Faculty of Human Development, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
2Faculty of Art, Computing and Creative Industry, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
3Center for Articial Intelligence Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia
4Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Islam Negeri Antasari, Indonesia
*Address Correspondence to Ahmad Jazimin Jusoh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received November 18, 2021; Accepted December 02, 2021; Published December 09, 2021
Copyright © 2021 Ciptro Handrianto, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In Malaysia, drugs are one of the major problems that the
nation has had to face since 1893, and since then, the han-
dling of drug abuse has been carried out more seriously by
raising awareness at all age levels. Education on how to
successfully deal with violent behavior in teenagers who
are inclined to consume drugs, one of which is by estab-
lishing positive behavior among adolescents, should be
addressed in order to produce future potential young gen-
National Anti-Drug Agency  mentioned that there were
178 areas across Malaysia identied high risk areas for
drug abuse, namely in Perak (30), Negeri Sembilan (16),
Johor (23), Selangor (15), Kelantan (13), Pahang (12),
Kedah (13), Pulau Pinang (11), WP Kuala Lumpur (10),
Terengganu (10), Sarawak (7), Sabah (7), Malaka (7), and
Perlis (4). The AADK also identied 1,017 (42%) of the
2,408 secondary schools in Malaysia as drug schools at
risk. There were 913,576 (41%) of 2,188,525 secondary
school students from all over Malaysia identied as having
a drug or tested positive for urine. Most of those involved
were 4th and 5th grade students.
The government emphasized that school institutions must
be actively involved in drug prevention. The following ef-
forts are some things that schools can do: (1) Paying at-
tention to normative values prevailing in schools and peer
inuence (2) Show students the negative impact of drug
use (3) Providing life skills such as communication skills,
making decisions, and collaborating, as well as providing
opportunities to practice them in everyday life (4) Promote
better communication between parents and schools and (5)
Creating stricter regulations regarding the prohibition of
drug use by students .
Drug abuse in schools in Malaysia is strictly prohibited, but
Teachers play a signicant role in curbing Drug and Substance Abuse
(DSA) because they spend much of their time with students in school. The
teaching competency of teachers is needed in drug and substance abuse
prevention. Some studies found that the school teachers still have lack
knowledge to talk about DSA in their classroom and school environment.
It is assumed that the problems are related to the teaching competency of
teachers. This paper aims to discuss the role of teaching competency of
teachers for curbing DSA in Malaysian secondary schools. The method-
ology used in this study is a conceptual approach, which involves con-
ducting literature research and critical thinking to develop a hypothetical
concept. This paper has classied the teaching competency for curbing
DSA into abilities of teachers to (1) Set up teaching planning (2) Curric-
ulum (3) Pedagogical knowledge (4) Learning strategies (5) Classroom
environment and (6) Social approach. These competencies help teachers
implement a learning situation in which the students enjoy with their class
and have commitment to avoiding drug abuse in their lives. Thus, this
study recommends that the government consider the classroom drug poli-
cy to eradicate drug abuse comprehensively. The government can release
the guideline for teaching competencies of classroom teachers in certain
subjects for curbing DSA and develop the rubrics for measuring Malay-
sian secondary school teachers’ teaching competency.
Keywords: Drug prevention; Classroom; School environment; Curric-
Drug prevention education in classroom situation
For several decades, drug prevention research in the school
context has attempted to understand the causes and con-
sequences of teachers’ roles [1-3]. Previous studies have
shown that a school that values teachers’ roles and recog-
nizes the importance of the school environment stands to
win in terms of students’ morale and commitment not to
use the drug [4-6]. However, some schools and teachers
pay scant regard to prevent drug abuse [7,8].
Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research
ironically, most drug abuse starts from schools. One of the
factors why that happen is that Malaysian school teachers
lack the knowledge to talk about it in their classroom and
school environment . Moreira, Vóvio support this, and
Micheli , the various challenges presented by the teach-
ers in school drug prevention are related to the teachers’
personality, professionality, pedagogy, and prejudices and
moral values related to the subject he or she teaches.
Gizyatova  describes several ways that can be done to
increase the eectiveness of drug prevention in educational
institutions, especially for teachers. To begin, schools must
create positive motivation for instructors to include drug
misuse prevention aspects into their classrooms. Second,
schools provide high quality professional development
with an emphasis on eective preventative strategies that
teachers may apply. Additionally, maintaining control over
the quality of teacher professional development. Finally,
cooperation from all elements of society in drug abuse pre-
vention activities among students.
The aim of this study is to investigate the role of teachers
in curbing Drug and Substance Abuse (DSA) in Malaysian
secondary schools related to their teaching competency in
the classroom situation. The teaching competency of teach-
ers in DSA is classied into several abilities based on con-
cepts from previous literature.
Teaching competency: For candidate teachers, knowledge
pedagogy is very important to learn during the training pe-
riod [12,13]. In addition, candidate teachers must also be
equipped with knowledge of the world of teachers and how
to be good teachers, and the opportunity to practice their
knowledge . A teacher should ideally be able to apply
the various methods he learns in the teaching and learning
process later in school. Additionally, a teacher must be fa-
miliar with the pedagogical substance of knowledge 
and the philosophical, historical, and sociological contexts
in which concepts are taught .
Teaching competency is related to the concept of what
teachers do that will help his or her students reach their
maximum potential, for example, their academic achieve-
ment, acquisition of competencies, social skills, and ad-
aptation to the world of work . Gálvez-Suarez and
Milla-Toro  emphasized that teaching competency is
teacher`s self-evaluation of their abilities and performances
in a teaching learning situation .
Teaching competence can also be said to be a competency
that refers to a teacher’s cognitive knowledge, which will
have an impact on classroom learning. A topic of teach-
er’s teaching competency refers to the abilities that enable
them to collaborate with students, colleagues, and other
professionals involved in children’s education and learning
to provide the most signicant learning environment possi-
Fathima, Sasikumar, and Roja  developed the concept
of teaching competence in ve dimensions, namely in-
duction, content, pedagogy, organization, and assessment
knowledge. Meanwhile, Zhu, Wang, Cai, and Engels 
developed four competencies teachers should have to im-
prove their teaching performance: Learning competence,
social competence, educational competence, and techno-
Teaching competence is related to the acquisition and
demonstration of the combined skills needed for teaching
students, such as providing explanation regarding subject
matter, prociency in questioning, ability to investigate,
explain and convey emotional arguments, time manage-
ment, feedback in teaching, understanding student psychol-
ogy, recognizing student behavior, classroom management,
and assessment. In the context of teaching competence, it
means the right way to convey theoretical knowledge, how
to apply and hone student skills [25,26].
Teachers’ teaching competency for preventing drug mis-
use in school’s entails topic knowledge and pedagogical
expertise to convey the dangers of drug abuse to students.
To include a drug prevention program, Teachers should be
able to elaborate their teaching learning process. Teach-
ers should be able to elaborate their teaching learning In
this case, a teacher’s skills are required to collaborate with
students and other stakeholders to prevent DSA in their
The role of school teacher`s for curbing DSA in the
The importance of the instructor in moulding pupils’ be-
haviour and perceptions cannot be overstated. Persuasive
communication by the instructor, which includes being
polite, oering factual information about drug abuse, and
paying attention to all pupils, is meant to help kids realize
how drug usage aects them .
In the study by Mahadi and Bahrin , several samples
agree on how drug abuse should be taught and learned in
school. It is possible to conclude that school based educa-
tion sessions on drug usage are successful. Teachers and
students both have a role to play in making drug abuse ed-
ucation more engaging.
In everyday life, teachers interact with students so that
a teacher has the opportunity to provide education relat-
ed to the dangers of drug abuse among adolescents .
Amesty and Páez  found that the experimental group
in their study of community drug prevention programs in
schools was eective. In addition, teachers in the experi-
mental group in their research also stated that the program
increased (1) the link between schools and communities,
(2) cooperation with parents, and (3) the teachers’ aware-
ness of the important role they could play in the prevention
of drug abuse by students.
Miller Day, Hecht, Krieger, Pettigrew, Shin, and Graham
 found that drug prevention was related to the level of
student involvement. Student involvement and in narrative
based drug prevention curriculum, teachers’ spontaneous
narratives are told to do so. In a narrative based curricu-
lum, the amount to which teachers communicate their nar-
ratives, identify dominant narrative elements, forms, and
Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research 3
functions, and examine the relationship between teacher
narratives, overall course narrative quality, and student en-
In comparison, drug abuse that is growing in Indonesia is
an emergency that requires the attention of all parties. For
example, namely in South Kalimantan. The main pillar of
drug prevention in Muslim communities in South Kaliman-
tan is to carry out Islamic teachings seriously. According to
the views of the people there, they uphold Islamic teach-
ings, namely prohibiting drug consumption.
In South Kalimantan, the role of guidance and counseling
teachers in schools is vital in the prevention and handling
of drugs because guidance and counseling ocers have the
duty and authority to control, supervise, and assist students
considered problematic .
The following is a reconstruction of Tuan Guru’s (teach-
er) role in drug prevention and eradication in Lombok: (1)
Implementing a personal approach method, (2) enforcing
a real action, (3) providing counseling services, and (4)
empowering the local economy Tuan Guru’s preaching
responsibilities in dealing with the drug problem were de-
termined to be quite helpful. Tuan Guru had succeeded in
removing the negative eects of drugs from the younger
generation. As reported by the drug investigation director-
ate of Lombok Barat, the number of drug cases is decreas-
A study by Teesson, Newton, Slade, Chapman, Allsop,
Hides, and Brownhill  in New South Wales, Australia,
found that teachers used cartoon media in drug abuse pre-
vention by reinforcing the learning outcomes, allowing in-
teractive communication between students, and providing
access to all program materials including what activities
will be carried out, implementation guidelines, educational
roles, making syllabus for each lesson. It can be concluded
that the role of teachers in improving their teaching com-
petency and self-ecacy in the teaching learning process
is important in drug abuse prevention among students .
In Malaysia, Sukor and Hussin  enlisted the help of 150
teachers to construct a Substance Abuse Prevention Pro-
gram (PDA). According to the ndings, the PPDA teacher
had a moderate level of self-ecacy and a low level of job
satisfaction. In the PPDA program, there were no signif-
icant dierences based on gender or experience. Further-
more, there is no discernible dierence in work satisfaction
depending on the PDA program.
The role of Malaysian secondary school teachers in the
teaching learning process in the classroom helps improve
student’s knowledge and awareness about the danger of the
drug. Teachers should be able to create valuable classroom
interaction to develop the potentials of student’s high think-
ing skills to construct their conclusion about drug abuse
. Giving feedback is important in the learning process
to give information to the teachers about students’ level of
What are the teaching competencies of teachers for curbing
DSA in the school? This is the question that this conceptual
paper is attempting to answer. Using literature study and
critical thinking, the researchers investigated this subject
and developed a hypothetical concept.
Conceptual papers are an eective instrument for con-
structing theories . By analyzing existing knowledge,
emphasizing problems and contradictions, identifying crit-
ical gaps in knowledge, essential insights, and providing
an agenda for future study, conceptual review papers might
theoretically enrich the subject . The result is a theo-
retical contribution that renes, re-conceptualizes, or even
replaces the prevailing viewpoint on a phenomenon.
This conceptual article serves as a foundation for a broader
empirical study by researchers on the importance of teach-
ing competence in preventing drug misuse in schools. Con-
ceptual papers combine existing ideas in appealing ways,
link interdisciplinary work, provide multilayered insights,
and widen our thinking. Another key consideration is the
necessity to present coherent and comprehensive argu-
ments regarding this connection, rather than simply testing
Arguments in a conceptual paper are not developed in the
traditional sense from actual evidence but rather require
digesting and integrating information in the form of pre-
formed concepts and hypotheses. Researchers looked at
prior empirical studies on drug misuse prevention by school
instructors and developed concepts and theories based on
the ndings .
This conceptual paper was discussed and analyzed using
one of Jaakkola’s four conceptual paper formats . The-
ory Synthesis, Theory Adaptation, Typology, and Model
are the four templates. This study uses the Theory Synthe-
sis template because of the goals, method of using theories,
and contribution potential.
A theoretical synthesis paper provides conceptual con-
vergence by combining numerous hypotheses or sourc-
es of information. This study oers a fresh or improved
perspective on a topic or phenomenon through novel links
from previously unconnected or incompatible elements.
According to MacInnis , summarizing aids researchers
by distilling, digesting, and condensing an area of study
into a more brief and comprehensible format. By translat-
ing prior discoveries and hypotheses into new high level
viewpoints that integrate phenomena previously thought to
be separate, integration allows researchers to see concepts
or phenomena in new ways. Such articles can also look into
the conceptual underpinnings of new theories or explain
conicting research ndings by providing more concise ex-
planations that bring disparate pieces together into a more
The researchers began their investigation into the role of
school teachers’ teaching competency in drug abuse pre-
vention by looking at concepts of teaching competency and
drug abuse prevention in schools. These two ideas were
Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research
chosen as the subject of additional research. The research-
ers next looked at the focused phenomena, which were not
thoroughly addressed in the previous study. By evaluat-
ing material found on Google scholar using the keywords
teaching competency and drug abuse prevention, the re-
searchers were able to identify dierent conceptualizations
of the problem. The researchers looked for patterns, resem-
blances, and regularities in the observed premises then used
the theoretical framework to come up with an explanation
before concluding the study. The researchers proposed to
discuss the following concepts as a result of this framework
in Figure 1 below:
Figure 1: Methodology.
Results and Discussion
Some studies have been done to show the importance of
teachers in preventing drug misuse [5,27,30,43]. Teachers
in Venezuela place a premium on building relationships
with the community, involving parents, and educating chil-
dren . Australian teachers supervise classroom settings,
preparing online worksheets, discussion, and intervention
online cartoon lessons . In the United Kingdom, Teach-
ers strive to enhance their teaching skills and pay attention,
which leads to mindfulness about the things being discussed
. In Indonesia, teachers focus on providing information
and giving attention to the students . Meanwhile, in
Malaysia, teachers are actively involved in handling drug
abuse prevention programs (PPDA) in their schools .
Based on the literature, teachers play a signicant role in
curbing DSA in school related to their teaching compe-
tency. The teaching competency includes the abilities of a
teacher to improve the valuable relationship between the
students and all school members in the school. Teachers
also treat all their students with the best attitude that they
have to make students enjoy learning at the school. They
give attention to all their students not to be involved with
drug abuse because it will harm their future. For students
whose teachers display greater interactive teaching, a good
adjustment in lifestyle patterns and commitment is no sub-
stance usage. Furthermore, in classrooms with interactive
teaching, cognitive requirements were connected with low-
er levels of alcohol use, whereas impulse decision making
was associated with lower rates of cannabis use .
In the teaching learning process, teaching competency
means that teachers should be able to create interactive and
innovative learning in their classes. They open opportuni-
ties to students to discuss any topics to trigger student’s
knowledge and their understanding, especially about the
danger of drugs. A teacher should apply a soft approach
to students in drug abuse prevention in school. Teachers
need to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in the
classroom situation. Students are working to nd the mean-
ing contained in the project’s assignment, making the proj-
ect work meaningful to their own experience and in real
life. So that, students leave and far away from the drug is
not because of compulsion but their knowledge and self`s
Pereira, Paes, and Sanchez  found that experimenting
with novel strategies boosted the likelihood of schools de-
veloping drug prevention programs by nearly 6 times. Im-
plementation challenges are more common in public and
municipal schools than in private schools, owing to a lack
of teaching resources, a lack of funding, and instruction
conicting with other topics. The study showed that some
diculties in drug prevention in public and private schools
still exist. Teaching competency is needed to solve these
problems. Teachers should take action with their roles amid
the limited access to items.
Teachers’ performance is usually characterized by a wide
range of teaching skills linked with the use of technolo-
gy. Learning competence, social competence, educational
competence, and technical competence are the four primary
competencies that teachers must have in order to improve
their teaching ability . These elements have contribu-
tion to supporting the teaching learning process in DSA
from a pedagogical, ethical, and professional standpoint, as
shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Elements of teaching competencies.
This notion, also known as adaptive learning, has been
dened as the ability to change teaching abilities in such
a way that subject knowledge may be implemented .
As a result, the situational aspect of the learning process
is linked to topic themes, which pertain to teaching style
characteristics. The elements of classroom management
must be incorporated into teaching approaches that have a
variety of positive conditions in student learning. Accord-
ing to this perspective, regulating the learning process with
activities handled in the classroom necessitates teachers
with adaptive teaching competencies to have self-regulat-
ed management directed to teaching in specic disciplines
[48,49]. Classroom management is quickly linked to teach-
Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research 5
er subject matter expertise and interpersonal behavior in
terms of how to connect with students to integrate DSA
into the learning process. It also incorporates motivation
for teachers, as well as interpersonal behavior and class-
The term “Teaching competency” is made up of two terms:
“Teaching” and “Competence.” Teaching is the process of
imparting knowledge or skills to someone in order to assist
them in achieving their aims and objectives in the future.
A person’s skill or capability to accomplish a job has long
been dened as competence. Motivation and self-aware-
ness and a desire and readiness to do well are all aspects
of competence . Teaching when dealing in a classroom
teaching scenario, a teacher’s competence refers to their
actions. Creative attitudes based on expectations for certain
teaching competencies and assessment criteria oer a lot
of potentials to improve education quality . The role
of teaching competencies in preventing DSA is to expand
on teachers’ knowledge, abilities, and attitudes to assist
students in avoiding drug abuse by enhancing motivation,
willingness, and teacher performance in the teaching and
learning process. This is also linked to instructors’ ability
to promote the hazards of drug misuse in the classroom.
Teaching competency of the classroom teachers means that
the message of curbing DSA should be delivered in every
situation, including the classroom. The teachers should
create a learning situation in which the students feel with
their class and commit to avoid drug abuse in their lives.
Spanierman, Heppner, Neville, Mobley, Wright, and Na-
varro  formulated the teaching competency of teachers
and can be integrated as abilities for curbing DSA in the
classroom situation as (1) Set up teaching planning. The
teacher should plan the activities in teaching planning to
prevent drug abuse in school. The materials used in the
teaching and learning process should provide information
and increase student’s knowledge about the danger of drug
abuse (2) Curriculum. The needs of curricula development
include integrating drug prevention in the teaching process.
Teachers should pay attention to the student’s situation,
what happened to their community, and what problems that
they face in daily life.
Teachers can develop syllabi, lesson plans, and topics of
the material subjects which integrate drug prevention based
on student needs (3) Pedagogical knowledge. The teach-
ers should know about particular teaching strategies that
arm drug prevention to all students. They also have a
clear understanding of drug abuse prevention in pedagogy.
Teachers should know about drug abuse prevention theo-
ries (4) Learning strategies. Teachers should understand the
various activities of drug prevention in their classrooms.
They examine the instructional materials that they use in
the classroom for drug abuse prevention. They include ex-
amples of the destructive eect of drug abuse during their
classroom lessons (5) Classroom environment. Teachers
should make changes within the general school environ-
ment so that the students will have understood the danger
of drug abuse for them. They promote drug abuse preven-
tion by the behaviors they exhibit and (6) Social approach.
Teachers should meet with other teachers or administrators
regularly to discuss drug prevention in the classroom. They
establish solid and supportive relationships with the parents
for drug prevention in the school. They are knowledgeable
of how the drug abuse environment may aect students’
learning. They are knowledgeable about the community’s
involvement in drug prevention programs within the city
that they teach.
Substance abuse is a global enemy, and it already spreads
in school institutions. The teachers play a signicant role to
prevent drug abuse in school because students spend much
of their time in the school. Some studies found that the
school teachers still lack knowledge to talk about substance
abuse in their classroom and school environment. It is as-
sumed that the problems are related to the teaching compe-
tency of teachers. Teaching competency is needed in drug
abuse prevention in school. This paper classied the teach-
ing competency in drug prevention into abilities of teachers
to (1) Set up teaching planning (2) Curriculum (3) Peda-
gogical knowledge (4) Learning strategies (5) Classroom
environment and (6) Social approach. The implementation
of drug policy in the classroom has to be considered by the
government for eradicating drug abuse comprehensively.
The government can release guideline for classroom teach-
ers for curbing DSA and rubrics to measure the teaching
competency of secondary school`s teachers. Students must
be involved in drug abuse prevention and teachers should
pay attention to that eort. All the integrated eorts by the
school community will help them to protect.
The Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia supported
this study through Long Term Research Grant Scheme
(LRGS/1/2019/UKM/02/2/4). We would like to express
our gratitude to editorial board and reviewers who spent
their valuable time to improve this article
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