School bullying shaping into uncontrollable social menace that will destroy our schools

In the past few weeks every other day there are newspaper reports about bullying, gang fights and even murder in our schools. This social disease has reached the prestigious royal military school which is the epitome of discipline and professionalism. A 16 year old student from royal military college in Sungai Besi was murdered by his own school mates on the June 24th. This is frightening because in the normal schools such incidence are linked to outside gangsters but in royal military college the culprits are fellow school mates.

If royal military college which is governed by ministry of defense and supported by ministry of education, can decay and reduced to such level what more to say about the general discipline in residential schools, elite colleges, science colleges and normal schools.

Why did our schooling system decline to this state? These bullying, gang fights, extortions, rape and even murder in schools has happened before but the headmasters and ministry officials always sweep the incidence under the carpet and covered and camouflaged as a small matter.

They don’t want to be in the bad books of ministry officials and mass media. Parents were warned of expulsions and intimidations. In Malaysia, it happens in both schools with low income children and wealthy parents. Even in Universities we have severe form of ragging.

Consistently emerging from research as causes for school bullying are poor academic grades of bullies, high absenteeism and truancy of bullies and unstructured free time in schools. Besides other factors that encourage violence in schools are violence at home of bullies, weak social ties, anti-social peers, poor parent–child relationships, indiscipline of bullies as well as drug and substance abuse.

Common and destructive form of bullying is psychological in nature, such as taunting, teasing, name-calling and exclusion from social groups or activities. Bullying left unchecked leads to extortion, thugs, rape which is happening our schools. Both forms of bullying lead to genuine suffering for the victim.

Emotionally, children who are bullied often suffer feelings of great distress, fear and self-doubt, with an overall drop in self-esteem. This can lead to absenteeism from school and a negative impact on the learning process.

Indian parents should not leave learning and schooling to teachers and schools but instead take ownership of their children’s performance in schools if their children are bullied. What I hear is Indians only question when the children are in Tamil schools but when the children go to secondary schools parents do not question are more.

Why is it?

We have every right to question teachers through parent teachers association and headmasters. If still not satisfied they can highlight their problem in public and get the public support. Bullying happens in all races and religions. Therefore make it a public issue and not a racial issue to get support across the board.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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