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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 2: Violence and bullying in schools represent a global problem that requires a collective effort by specialists to put concrete solutions to limit the spread of such acts, particularly since it negatively effects students’ academic progress and social life. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says that violence in the school environment a clear violation to children and adolescents’ education and health.
Therefore, in a press release, UNESCO Member States declared the first Thursday of November, the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying, recognizing that school-related violence in all its forms is an infringement of children and adolescents’ rights to education and to health and well-being. The statement added that it calls upon Member States, UN partners, other relevant international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including nongovernmental organizations, individuals and other stakeholders to help promote, celebrate and facilitate the international day.
This day calls on the attention of students, parents, members of the educational community, education authorities and a range of sectors and partners, including the tech industry, to encourage everyone to take a part in preventing online violence for the safety and wellbeing of children and youth. In an interview with KUNA, Kuwait University’s Dr. Nasser Al-Munai said that there are different types of bullying, whether verbal, physical, material all comes from the main cause, inside the family and the way parents teach their children, in addition to peer pressure to continue bullying if there was no response to it.
Al-Munai added that parents play a critical role in creating a bullying figure against others, stressing that tough teaching environment contributes into building a bullying character. The doctor also noted that the growing problem of bullying and violence in society was due to the victim’ silence, no confrontation or real results by the ones effected by bullying, stressing importance on the role of parents and school faculty to build trust and a safe place to resort to in that case.
Meanwhile, Oqba bin Nafie Intermediate School Director Mishaan Al-Theferi told KUNA that the number of bullying cases has increased recently, due to the increased number of students and the increased number of cases, like divorce cases. Al-Theferi added that the increased number of violence and bullying cases has different effects on the victim, some feel they lose confidence, some lose concentration, others social retreat, and some due lack in the academic level.
Al-Theferi noted that students’ who become victims of bullying tend to abandon school attendance, feel ashamed, and fear from bullying students. The 2022 International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying highlights the important role teachers play in making school a safe space for all learners.
Teachers are at the heart of the solution and need to feel empowered, capable and ready to act. Yet more training and stronger support from the school and beyond is urgently needed. School violence can be devastating. The children and young people affected can find it difficult to concentrate in class, miss classes, or drop out of school altogether. This has an adverse impact on academic achievement and future prospects.
The atmosphere of anxiety, fear and insecurity is incompatible with learning and undermines the quality of learning for everyone. At the global level, partners and schools will mobilize around this year’s theme, “Not on my watch: the role of teachers in preventing and addressing school violence.” An international seminar will be hosted by UNESCO on 3 November 2022, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and online. (By Faisal Al-Khumaili KUNA)