A call has gone to relevant stakeholders in the education sector to play their part towards addressing the rising trend of bullying in schools across the country.
An educational technocrat and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola made the call during a workshop organised by the Ado-Odo/Ota Zonal Education Office of the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology at the Ambassador Event Hall, Ota.
Aikulola stated that key stakeholders like the Government, schools, parents and educators need to address the challenge of bullying adding that failure to do so, would further exacerbate the present challenge, impede on the successful implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially in the area of inclusive and equitable quality education and could lead to terrorism.
“Bullying, in whatever form it appears is a threat to the societal contract and a core challenge to the educational industry, hence it requires the concerted effort of all Stakeholders to nip it in the bud in order to make our society a better place for social co-existence,” the Permanent Secretary stated.
According to him, “a research conducted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on school violence and bullying in 144 countries spread across all the regions of the world and released in 2019, revealed that almost one in three students (32%) has been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the last month”
Aikulola who was also a former Permanent Secretary at the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said bullying manifests in the form of hazing, physical bullying, emotional bulling, verbal bullying, cyber bullying among others stating that factors like parental background, school environment, socio-economic status, peer group and teachers attitude are some of the causes of bullying.
The Permanent Secretary who highlighted different reported cases of violence in some schools stressed that, “teachers now discharge their duties with fear and under threat of insecurity while many learners are afraid of coming to schools for fear of being attacked”.
He called on the government to provide strong political leadership in fighting against school violence, redefine the school curriculum to promote social interaction as well as promulgate robust legal and policy framework to address violence against children.
Aikulola also called on schools to create a positive and conducive school climate to discourage bullying while warning signs such as eye rolling, nambe calling, prolonged staring, back turning, ignoring and others should be identified and stopped at an early stage.