Preventive measures to minimise and detect bullying in schools

Published Date: 02 October 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Sembawang GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) following the recent fracas between students in a secondary school (a) whether the Ministry will consider installing CCTVs along school corridors and other areas for the staff to monitor the students' activities; (b) what is the psychological and social profile of these students; and (c) how can the Ministry minimise such incidents in schools.

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) how prevalent and serious is bullying in our schools; (b) what preventive measures are undertaken to minimise and detect bullying; (c) whether our teachers are trained to handle bullying incidents; and (d) whether students involved in bullying and who are victims of bullying are given counselling care.

Response

1. Most students are well-behaved and are able to interact well with one another. However, some may, from time to time, make mistakes in the process of growing up. Some students may act inappropriately to express their unhappiness or resolve conflicts in an aggressive way. Our schools do not tolerate physical aggression. When such incidents occur, school staff will step in to defuse and manage the situation. Schools also check on the physical and emotional well-being of the victims, discipline and counsel the aggressors, and educate the bystanders.

2. Based on a student perception survey conducted by OECD in 2015, about 10 and 20 per cent of our 15 years-old students reported that they had experienced some forms of social and verbal bullying respectively. Physical bullying was less prevalent at about 5%. This is quite similar to MOE’s findings and other local studies.

3. Our schools impart social and emotional skills, such as emotional regulation and conflict management through Character and Citizenship Education. Positive values such as respect and harmony are also emphasised. Teachers use teachable moments, including the recent incident, to educate our students and reinforce the relevant skills and values. Schools also actively create a positive and supportive environment for all our students.

4. All schools have been equipped with CCTV systems to enhance safety and security within their premises. The cameras are installed to cover critical areas in schools like gates, access routes and blind areas. This is mainly to deter crime and detect wilful intrusions.

5. Shaping the character and behaviour of our students is an on-going process. It requires the collective effort of the school, the family and the community to educate and support our students as they learn from their mistakes and strive to become better persons.

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