Bullying still the biggest problem facing SA schools – survey

School bullying has become a problem, according to a survey by consumer insights company Pondering Panda.

“Not only is bullying once more front and centre as the biggest problem facing our schools, even more people are identifying it as a problem now than a year ago,” the company’s spokesperson, Shirley Wakefield, said today.

“The bullying problem has been made worse by the proliferation of cellphones and mobile devices, which has led to growth in cyberbullying. This is something that is less easy to identify, but potentially just as harmful.”

The company said 5 314 pupils, teachers, and family members between the ages of 13 and 34 were interviewed across the country.

The survey found that 36% of respondents described bullying as one of the biggest problems at school, compared with 28% a year ago.

Other issues were having too many pupils in a class, parents not getting involved enough and a lack of decent toilets.

How big a problem bullying was in schools differed according to age.

40% of 13- and 14-year-olds identified bullying as a major problem, compared with 32% of respondents aged between 15 and 17.

The survey found that both genders were equally affected.

The company said 34% of black respondents believed bullying was one of the most significant problems in their schools, compared with 41% of whites and 43% of coloureds.

The provinces that identified bullying as a major concern were Western Cape (44%), North West (41%) and Gauteng (40%).

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