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UAE launches anti-bullying programmes in schools

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 21/04/2018 Wam
UAE launches anti-bullying programmes in schools © Provided by Khaleej Times UAE launches anti-bullying programmes in schools

Students across the country will be advised on how to act or respond if they encounter a bully or witness anyone being bullied at school, home or anywhere.

Starting today, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is organising the National Bullying Prevention Week to raise awareness on bullying under the patronage of 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); and in partnership with more than 20 local and federal entities.

Throughout the week, trained educators and consultants will visit public and private schools to shed light on various bullying matters, such as what is bullying, its different forms, what is cyber bullying and what the characteristics of a bully are.

In addition to the impact of bullying on children and how it could negatively affect their lives and mental health and why do bullies behave the way they do. 

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said: "Bullying shouldn't be excluded or ignored. It directly affects a student's surrounding and could create a gap between him/her and the school community, if it is not handled in a methodical manner or the root cause investigated and treated."

The MoE is keen on collecting data related to bullying to get a clear idea on its prevalence in our schools and be able to provide decision makers in the educational sector with reliable information on this matter to support their decisions. The National Bullying Prevention Week activities promote educational concepts that have a significant impact in our community and highlight our common values and the societal and institutional efforts to eliminate bullying.

Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, said: "Multiple research studies have found that the short term and long-term effects of bullying on those involved, on the education system and or the wider society are far more profound and lasting than previously believed. Bullying negatively affects students' educational performance and their emotional and mental growth. For example, repeated name-calling, teasing and physical assault are often causes for increased absenteeism among those students who feel vulnerable, insecure and alienated."

Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, reiterated the important role the National Bullying Prevention Committee plays in. "Promoting a positive culture and instilling moral values that will reduce bullying behaviour and its psychological impact in UAE schools."

Between the year 2013 and 2017, the MoE trained 696 counsellors, teachers and principals from schools on bullying prevention methods and techniques and in April 2018 a specialised workshop was organised to train 713 educators, 363 of whom are counsellors and 350 principles.

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