Bullying is schools' biggest problem

2012-12-04 11:05
(File, Beeld)

(File, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Bullying is the biggest problem schools face, according to a consumer survey released by research company Pondering Panda on Tuesday.

In total, 7 324 South African pupils, teachers, and families of pupils, aged between 13 and 34, were asked to identify the biggest problems at their schools.

"Bullying remains the most significant cause for concern, with 28% saying it was one of the biggest problems at their school," Pondering Panda said in a statement.

The survey is repeated at regular intervals by cellphone.

In June, 31% of respondents named bullying as the most significant problem.

A quarter of respondents criticised parents' lack of involvement, while 24% complained about toilet facilities.

Bullying was a greater cause for concern among younger respondents.

A third of pupils aged 13 to 14 identified bullying as a major problem, compared to 25% of pupils aged 15 to 17.

Effect on pupils

Black people were less likely to see bullying as a major issue, with only 26% identifying it as a significant problem.

In contrast 40% of whites, 35% of coloureds and 52% of Indians saw bullying as a serious problem.

The Western Cape (35%), Gauteng (35%) and the North West (33%) were most likely to see bullying as a major problem.

"It's clear that bullying remains a real problem in schools," said Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield.

"The fact that it is seen as more important than infrastructure requirements means that it should be a high priority for teachers, parents and education officials."

Bullying had an immediate, harmful and long-term effect on pupils' psyche and their ability to benefit from education.

The problem was likely to have been exacerbated by the growth in cyber-bullying, which was less easy to identify, she said.

Read more on:    education

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