Police called to investigate bullying in Imadudheen School

Police have confirmed that they are currently investigating a case involving multiple instances in which an 8-year-old student at Imadudheen School has been bullied.

While the police declined from providing further information on an ongoing investigation, local media reports that the case involves the student being bullied multiple times, and the school management repeatedly failing to take sufficient action in the matter.

“We have been raising these concerns with the school management from the moment we became aware of it. We have submitted the complaint to the class teacher, the leading teacher, and even the school principal,” local media quotes the victim’s parent as saying.

“However, the problem has still not been resolved. We filed a complaint with the police finally when the class teacher threatened our daughter saying she will be expelled from school if she pursues this matter any further.”

Ministry of Education Media Official Maina Latheef stated that the matter has not been submitted to the ministry as an official complaint, although she explained to Minivan News that she was looking into the issue.

“We will be able to tell you more in detail about what actions we can and will take once we finish looking into the matter. However, we maintain that the act of bullying is unacceptable and no child must have to be subject to it,” she said.

Imadudheen School’s administrative office was not responding to calls at the time of press.


ARC launches ‘Respect’ campaign against bullying

Childrens’ rights NGO Advocating for the Rights of Children (ARC) on Saturday launched a campaign against bullying and discrimination titled ‘Respect’.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of these issues among children in order to equip them to respect both themselves and others’ boundaries and surroundings.

The ‘Respect’ campaign was initiated as a result of a survey conducted by the NGO in 2012, which “showed alarming statistics of bullying in schools”.

Under the campaign, a number of sessions will focus on anti-bullying and anti-discrimination with the primary aim of supporting students, teachers, and parents to promote positive and respectful behaviour and to create safe and healthy environments for children.

Launching the campaign this weekend, ARC held events at the Children’s Shelter and Muhyidheen School in the island of Villingili. The campaign includes a week-long programme consisting of material to teach the children how to acknowledge and accept differences between themselves and others.

The programme will help participants understand the term ‘bullying’, to identify bullying behaviour, and to recognise the emotional and psychological impacts of such behaviour. Children taking part will also learn the difference between assertive, aggressive, and passive communication and will learn to use assertive communication to stop or prevent bullying.

The programme involves both indoor and outdoor activities over the span of a week. Participants in the first of the series of programmes include 58 students from Grade 1 at Muhyidheen School and children ages 6 and over from the Children’s Shelter.

‘Respect’ will be conducted by foreign consultant Karen Boswell and ARC’s Senior Consultant on Education Fathimath Nahidh Shakir.


A 2012 survey conducted across grades 6 and 7 in all primary schools in capital city Malé, Hulhumalé, and Villingili found that 80 percent of students claimed to have seen another student being bullied or discriminated against, while 61 percent of the participants revealed that they had been bullied themselves.

Of those interviewed, 17 percent admitted to having bullied other students.

Regarding types of bullying, 15 percent noted being physically hurt, 28 percent had rumours and lies spread about them, and 32 percent reported having been teased.

Participants reported that 10 percent of bullying incidents took place near the toilets in school, 14 percent in school playgrounds, 16 percent in corridors, and 37 per cent in classrooms.

Almost half of the bullying victims – 45 percent – did not report bullying incidents to anyone. Of those who did, 49 percent of complaints were made to teachers and 45 percent to parents.

Those surveyed suggested that physical appearance was the primary reason for bullying – 36 percent giving this explanation – while personality, academic performance, and differences of opinion were cited as the next most prominent causes.

The report revealed that children felt bullying could be prevented by anti-bullying policies (19 percent), increased adult supervision (17 percent), and raising awareness of the issue (16 percent).

The ‘Respect’ campaign will stretch through out 2014 and will be held in various preschools, primary, and secondary schools.


Police give information sessions at schools in Malé

The Community Engagement and Crime Prevention Department alongside the Traffic Police offered information sessions about crime prevention for teachers and students of several schools, reports Miadhu.

On 27-28 April, students from grades 1-5 of Ghiyaasuddin School were given information on traffic rules and regulations. Police officers showcased the resources used by Traffic Police to students from grades 1-3.

On 25, 27 and 29 April, police held another session at Jamaaluddin School for grade 7 students. They focused on traffic regulations, school behaviour like bullying, and criminal and unethical behaviour on the internet.

Another information session on bullying was held today with teachers at Aminiya School. They were informed about the effects of bullying on children, and how to handle incidents.