The Financial Express

Curbing school bullying  

Asjadul Kibria     | Published: October 04, 2019 22:31:15 | Updated: October 05, 2019 22:27:25

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A  large number of school-goers are now the victims of bullying and the aggressive mentality is growing mainly due to laxity of the school administrations coupled with irresponsible behaviour of a section of guardians. Media reports have already unveiled a series of bullying incidents at different schools in Dhaka as well as other parts of the country. This reflects another disturbing dimension of society which is now too much obsessed with economic affluence.

Over the years, consistent economic growth helps bring more families out of poverty and widen opportunity to send more children to schools.  This positive development is, however, challenged on many counts.  Guardians, teachers and students - all are now in a rush to make good results. That's why exams and coaching are getting priority over other things like manner learning and mutual cooperation.  Schools are too much focused on text books and busy with all the possibilities to extract more money from guardians. Psychological nurturing of students is totally ignored which has enhanced the scope of bullying in school. As students of various socio-economic backgrounds are interacting with each others in schools, the relationship among them turned complex and bullying is rising.

Beside physical abuses like hitting, bullying ranges from calling name, teasing, hurling abuses, spreading rumour and systematically isolating the targeted from the rest. Then there is cyber bullying by spreading malicious contents online.

A student may face bullying for not carrying a particular smart phone or not spending hefty sum of money during tiffin break. He or she may be a victim of a group of other students for not supporting their misdeed or not co-operating with them in cheating in class tests. The list is quite long and the reality is that bullying has some traumatic effects on children.

Unfortunately, school administrations pay little heed to the problem and don't care at all if a victim is from a weak socio-economic background. Schools also sometimes brush such complaints under carpets if children of influential people are among the bullies. Usually school management cares about children of a local political leader or senior government official or a businessman. Even teachers are sometimes instructed to deal with these children carefully and ignore their wrong doings. This kind of impunity makes bullies more aggressive.

A good number of guardians especially mothers usually refuse to believe that their boys and girls could do any wrong. Some of them even dismiss such allegation outright and rather blame victims. This kind of attitude makes it difficult for schools to tackle bullying. It is mostly visible among those who don't have adequate educational background and live on black money or questionable income. These irresponsible and careless guardians fail to understand that they are actually creating some social monsters. Trying to correct behaviours at a later stage ultimately turns counter-productive.

Thus social cooperation is needed to contain school bullying for healthy childhood. Proper upbringing is a right all children are entitled to, not only those who come from affluent and influential families.  Both guardians and schools have to understand it and value children's right.




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