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Gulf Today Report
Bullying, particularly in schools, is a practice that should be totally banned. It has dangerous consequences for children who are at the receiving end.
The victim can refuse to attend school, thus leading to low performance and academic scores. He or she can be utterly nervy with low self-esteem adding to his or her woes.
According to a report, bullying can be direct or physical, entail spreading rumours, stalking, or cyberbullying (performed via electronic or digital means).
Social media is a powerful tool for the bully to cow down his or her victim and kill self-worth.
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Victims can have a host of problems including insomnia, headaches, abdominal pain, digestive issues, and disorderly eating habits among other issues.
Some children may be reluctant to share their experiences. Such kids should be made to realise that revealing the bullying may not only help end the cycle for them but for others as well.
There should be whole-hearted efforts to instil confidence and self-esteem in the victims, and encourage them to seek positive friendships.
If there is one country that is pulling out all the stops to tackle bullying, it is the UAE.
No wonder there is a National Bullying Prevention Week to stem the malignant habit that is so prevalent among schools.
The scheduled launch by the Ministry of Education of the 4th National Bullying Prevention Week to raise awareness on bullying across the UAE is truly praiseworthy. It is being held in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and in partnership with more than 28 federal and local entities.
Running until 21st November, the nationwide campaign is being organised under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF.
The campaign will address the electronic phenomenon of bullying among school students at various educational levels and qualify them on how to deal with it. It also seeks methods of prevention, explains the relationship between COVID-19 and cyberbullying, correct intervention methods, and the role of professionals in educational institutions in leading programmes to prevent bullying.
Now, these are extraordinary circumstances, and children are already feeling stressed out locked up indoors to ward off the virus. With distance learning and remote work system, the internet plays a crucial role in their lives. And that means facing the risk of bullying in digital space.
The Abu Dhabi Police, ADP, have emphasised the importance of protecting children from online bullying and raising their awareness of how to report such cases with the help of their families.
The emirate’s police warned families that some students join groups on WhatsApp and social media outlets to bully other students.
The UAE attaches great importance to the child welfare and well-being by enacting legislations, issuing policies, establishing mechanisms and setting up systems and procedures to ensure the child’s right to live in a safe environment and stimulate his physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. It is also heartening to note in this respect that even youngsters are doing their own bit to curb the menace among kids of their age.
A 17-year-old Bangladeshi boy, Sadat Rahman, won the International Children’s Peace Prize on Friday for stronger global action against cyberbullying and online crimes involving children.
Rahman won the prize for developing a mobile app to help teenagers after he heard the story of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life as a result of cyberbullying.
A holistic wellbeing of the child, removing any kind of fear or apprehension, is a prime necessity. The best interests of the child should be totally ensured and protected.
The initiative was launched following a video that went viral on social media of children being bullied by their fellow colleagues on a school bus.
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Jawaher said, “I never hesitated to do it but I wanted to share and spread awareness even though people said it sounds risky and some people thought I wanted to make money out of it. I never wanted any of it, I wanted people to know about what’s happening inside school. I really felt proud for posting it and tried my best… even students and the school texted saying that they’re really happy…”
Two years back, a group of young parents, in one of their bonding sessions discussed options for the protection of their children from any possible form of bullying inside classrooms and within campuses. That was the time when the social media overflowed with cases of that “act of harm, intimidation or coercion” such as in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and the Philippines. One option tackled was homeschooling or home education.
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