ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP):Lack of attention from school management towards the rampant trend of bullying in schools and colleges was causing distress and mental health issues among students.
Students from both the government and private schools complained of being bullied by their peers or even teachers but the management of the school did not take their version seriously.
Bullying is the most little discussed issue in Pakistani society. There are no studies on adolescent bullying in the country and so the less attention is being paid to this sensitive issue.
A senior academia in NUML, Attiya Zulfiqar said that bullying does not affect the bullied child but it also depicts the insecurities of the child who bullies others. “We must not hate the bully as he/she fights her own battles. They just have a different way of expressing their fears and anger”, she added.
She said bullying could threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and could negatively impact their ability to learn and grow mentally.
She suggested that there should be a psychologist on duty in every school to comfort the children when they are mentally traumatized by bullying or for whatever reason. “Some expensive private schools do have this facility for their students but government schools should also take this step into consideration.
A student of a famous private school, Hania Ali, 13, told APP that the immense mental pressure she often felt because of another girl’s behavior towards her. “She often snatches my lunch or takes my books out of my bag.
Upon complaining, my teacher told me to try to be friends with her instead of scolding the girl”, she added.
Childhood memories shape child’s personalities. Having some unwanted memory or incident often leaves an eternal mark of child’s conscious and his/her behavioural patterns.
Talking to APP, child psychologist Faiza Arsalan said that contrary to popular believe, the bullies are not just those “seniors” in schools or colleges. They can be siblings, cousins, relatives and the worst, a teacher.
She said mostly parents were more likely to be aware when their child was bullied than teachers which may suggest that children were more likely to tell their parents than their teachers when they are victimised.
Analysis of a large-scale study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies suggested a significant under-reporting of school bullying by both teachers and parents. One in three children aged 10-11 years old report being picked on or bullied by peers in Australian schools.
In a research presentation to the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ conference, researchers reported that for more than half of children who reported experiencing unfriendly behaviours, their parents were either not aware, or did not consider the actions to be bullying.
In Pakistan, the cause of most of the suicides committed by young students is not documented but in the West there have been cases when students hanged themselves to death after being threatened, pushed around and humiliated by classmates or teachers.