Our View: Addressing the Issue of School Violence is a Must

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The government of Cyprus has approved a set of measures to address the high rates of school violence in the country. These measures include initiatives to fight racism, violence prevention courses, and alternative programs for children with disruptive behavior. Plans to set up special schools for delinquents and provide teacher training courses for handling violent situations are also being considered. The lack of training and changing societal conditions are seen as contributing factors to the increase in school violence.

What measures are being taken to address school violence in Cyprus?

The government of Cyprus has approved a set of measures to address the high rates of school violence. These include initiatives to fight racism, courses on violence prevention, and alternative programmes for children with disruptive behaviour. Additionally, plans to set up special schools for delinquents and teacher training courses for handling violent situations are being considered. Understanding the root cause of the issue and adapting to the new conditions is seen as equally important.

Violence in schools has become a significant issue around the globe. Notably, Cyprus, a country popularly known for its relative societal peace, has surprisingly been named in European research as having “the highest rates of school violence.” This revelation raises the question: How could a society, predominantly nonviolent, record the highest rates of school violence?

The Paradox of Cyprus’ Peaceful Society and School Violence

Cyprus is a society that is generally considered peaceful. Cases of violence are relatively rare, with isolated incidents of football hooliganism and occasional racist attacks that are more shocking because of their infrequency than their regularity. Yet, the country now stands in an unwelcome spotlight due to its high rates of school violence.

The Startling Statistics

A survey carried out by the University of Cyprus places this issue in the limelight. The research found that one in four children are victims of bullying either at school or online. Notably, one in five teenagers have reportedly been victims of cyber-bullying. The study also revealed that physical bullying is more frequent at gymnasiums. Non-Greek Cypriot children were often the targets of such bullying, while three in ten children reported being treated abusively or humiliatingly by teachers.

Government’s Response to the Issue

Recognizing the seriousness of the issue, the government has decided to intervene. The council of ministers approved a set of measures for dealing with violent and delinquent behaviour at schools. These measures, as announced by Education Minister Athena Michaelidou, include initiatives to fight racism through civic education, dialogue, and peaceful resolution disputes. Courses on violence prevention have also been proposed as part of the measures.

Plan to Curb Disruption in Schools

Addressing the disruption caused by students with behavioural issues is another aspect that the ministry aims to handle. Plans for alternative programmes for children exhibiting disruptive behaviour are being drafted. The goal of these initiatives is to minimize class disruption for others and provide the necessary help to the children demonstrating anti-social behaviour. The idea of setting up a special school for delinquents, staffed with specially trained teachers to assist them in adjusting and managing their behavioural issues, is also actively being considered.

Importance of Teacher Training

The role of teachers in managing such issues cannot be overstated. Teachers who have been trained to handle bad behaviour have reportedly faced lower rates of incidents. As such, ensuring that all teachers attend training courses for dealing with student violence is a priority. The rise in anti-social or violent behaviour could be linked to teachers’ inability to manage risky situations, especially if they lack the necessary training.

Understanding the Root Cause

The lack of training in dealing with difficult and disruptive students could be one of the reasons for the high rates of violence recorded in Cyprus’ schools. In past years, there was no perceived need for such training as schoolchildren were comparatively well-behaved and respectful towards authority figures like teachers. However, this deference can no longer be taken for granted, necessitating adaptation to the new conditions by the education ministry.

While addressing the issue of school violence is indeed a must, understanding its roots and the various contributing factors is equally important. It’s a concerning issue, but with the right strategies and initiatives like the ones being proposed, there’s hope for improvement.

In simple terms, school violence is a big problem in Cyprus, a country known for being peaceful. A study found that many children are being bullied at school or online, and physical bullying is more common in some schools. The government has decided to take action by introducing measures to fight racism, teach about violence prevention, and help children with disruptive behavior. They are also considering setting up special schools for students with behavior problems and providing training for teachers. The lack of training and changing societal conditions are seen as reasons for the increase in school violence. It’s important to understand the root causes of the problem and take steps to address them. With the right strategies and initiatives, there is hope for improvement.

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