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School violence prompts calls for children to be taught ethics

Update: December, 26/2014 - 09:13
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HCM CITY (VNS) — Ethics education should be strengthened to curb the worsening violence at schools, educationists told a workshop on this issue held at the HCM City University of Education on Wednesday.

Le Thi Thao, head of the students affairs division at Central Highlands province of Dak Lak's Education and Training Department, said in her province last month a ninth grader and a sixth grader died after being stabbed and beaten by schoolmates in separate incidents.

Police are investigating the cause of the violence, she said.

Last week a student in Long An Province who refused to sit a test for his friend was beaten until he lost consciousness. He was taken to Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City where doctors diagnosed him with a brain injury and are treating him.

A study of school violence in Quy Nhon Province by Dinh Anh Tuan, a lecturer at the Quy Nhon University, found that 11 students at eight schools used deadly weapons to attack their friends.

More than 66 per cent of 496 students polled said they had been injured or threatened on the phone by their classmates, Tuan said.

On every occasion, violence was provoked by someone speaking behind the would-be attacker's back or scolding them, the study found.

Emotional conflicts were also found to spark off violence, it said.

Remarkably, students also fight just because they do not like one another, Tuan said.

When asked what they would do if attacked, 35.4 per cent said they would not retaliate while only 11.4 per cent said they would.

"Schools are not safe for students," Tuan concluded from the study.

It also found that students whose parents are divorced or quarrel with each other have a tendency to be violent and use deadly weapons.Besides, those playing violent electronic games are more likely to be violent than those who do not.

Thao suggested having more counsellors in schools to resolve conflicts between students and counsel them.

Her province has only 10 schools with counsellors, she added. — VNS

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