Bullying cases in schools

Published Date: 04 January 2021 09:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Cheryl Chan Wei Ling, East Coast GRC

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education from 2012 to 2020 (a) what has been the number of reported bullying cases in schools; and (b) how effective has a no-tolerance policy for bullying been in reducing the number of incidents in schools.

RESPONSE

1. MOE takes a serious view of bullying and works with schools to send a clear message to all students that any form of bullying is not acceptable. Since 2012, the number of incidents reported each year to schools has remained low, at about two incidents per 1000 primary students and five incidents per 1000 secondary students.

2. Schools articulate the zero-tolerance stance for bullying through stating clear school rules and consequences for bullying, conducting regular briefings to staff and students to raise awareness of bullying, and investigating cases and taking action promptly. Appropriate disciplinary action is taken to guide perpetrators and restore relationships with those whom they have hurt. Counselling support is also provided to victims. Parents are involved to reinforce the same values and expectations of their children's behaviour.

3. The zero-tolerance stance, coupled with an educative and restorative approach to bullying management, has kept the bullying incidences low. However, bullying cases are getting more complex, extending into the online space and often involve unresolved conflicts. There may also be concerns that there may be cases of bullying that go unreported and victims continue to suffer. MOE will thus strengthen support for schools in three areas. First, the refreshed Character and Citizenship Education Curriculum will place a strong emphasis on guiding students to be kind and caring, both online and offline. Next, schools will establish a peer support culture whereby every student understands that bullying is wrong and learns how to help and support those who have been bullied. In addition, MOE will deepen schools' capacity to foster positive class culture, investigate and address bullying, and work with parents and the community to educate our young.

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