MALAYSIA: Mental bullying rife in schools

By Chandra Devi
New Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: He was new in school and spoke with an accent.

Some students found Azim, who had studied abroad, “weird” and he was teased and ridiculed for being different.

Months of teasing and taunting took their toll on Azim who broke down and was admitted to a psychiatric ward.

Psychological bullying is rife in schools, say educationists.

It has caused some bullied students to stay away from school. All psychologically-bullied students are left with a long-lasting emotional scar.
Sadly, psychological bullying, although a daily occurrence in schools, is rarely reported.

Teachers view teasing and taunting as a “normal” part of growing up.

“It is not. It affects children for a lifetime,” said an educationist. In Azim’s case, it would have helped if teachers had intervened. This is the problem in our schools. Teachers do not know how to deal with such a situation.”

This is set to change with the introduction of a bullying intervention programme in schools.

A workshop was recently held by the Education Ministry, with the cooperation of HELP University College and the United Nations Children’s Fund, for 100 participants from the ministry.

Among them were disciplinary supervisors from state Education departments, wardens from fully residential schools, senior assistants of student affairs, school counsellors, and disciplinary teachers and lecturers from teacher training institutes.

Educationist and psychologist Professor Datin Dr Noran Fauziah Yaakub said there has so far been only knee-jerk reactions to bullying incidents.

“School authorities only react when an incident is reported and the focus has always been on physical bullying. Full story.


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