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Extreme violence in schools on the increase

Update: October, 20/2016 - 07:00
Students engage in a fight. Schools should work with local authorities to spread knowledge about laws to students in order to reduce school violence, an education official said. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — School violence has recently increased not only in quantity, but also in severity, said educational experts.

Videos of students fighting have been widely shared on social networks lately.

At the end of last month, an eighth grader commited suicide after being beaten and humiliated by his friend’s father on video. The clip was then posted on social networks and many students commented that it was normal to be beaten at school.

On October 9, an eight grader at Phạm Ngũ Lão Junior Secondary School in the central province of Khánh Hòa posted on her Facebook that if she received 1,000 ‘likes’, she would set fire to her school.

When she received enough likes, after encouragement from friends, bought petrol to school and set it on fire in the medical room.

The fire was extinguished by the school’s security guard, but the student burned both her legs.

Currently, Cẩm Thủy District Police in the central province of Thanh Hóa are investigating the case of two female students beating a girl unconscious. Videos of the incident were posted on forums and Facebook.

Speaking about the problem, Hoàng Thị Minh Phương, deputy principal of the Lê Hồng Phong Junior Secondary School in Hà Đông District, Hà Nội, said that punishing students did not fix anything completely.

Most punishments used by the education sector aim at educating students and giving them an opportunity to correct their faults.

Agreeing with Phương, Nguyễn Ngọc Duy, a psychological expert, said that expelling these students was not a good idea.

More important was that students are taught social skills and teachers understand the students’ psychology.

But schools were lacking in these areas, he said.

Schools’ role

Nguyễn Trọng Hoàn, an official of the Nghệ An Department of Education and Training, said that after several cases of school violence in the province recently, the department asked schools to work with local authorities to spread knowledge about laws to students.

Vũ Kiên Trung, a teacher of the Tạ Quang Bửu Junior Secondary School in Hà Nội, said that to reduce school violence, families, schools and society should focus on educating students’ behaviour and personality.

Students should not have access to violent programmes, images and games and schools should have lessons creating connections between students to set up love between people, he said.

Schools should have lessons creating connections between students to set up love between people.

Television programmes should honour good behaviour instead of broadcasting too much negative behaviour, he said.

Parents and teachers should act as good examples for students, said Trung.

Trương Đình Chiến, a lecturer of the HCM City Academy of Public Administration, said that at present teachers only focus on teaching knowledge, and did not pay enough attention to training students’ skills and behaviour.

In fact, some teachers did not have good behaviour towards their students.

A system of behaviour norms at schools was needed, he said.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa said that the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) would promulgate a system of behaviour norms and the system would be used nationwide.

The system would have different content for kindergartens, primary schools, junior secondary schools, high schools, colleges and universities.

The ministry would also promulgate a circular giving guidance on cultural behaviour to students.

Localities should have detailed plans based on the guidance and apply in their areas, she said.

Manpower for psychological education

Ngũ Duy Anh, director of the MoET’s Department of Student Affairs, said that at present, the education sector had difficulties because it did not have staff specialised in psychological consultancy at schools.

Psychological consultancy did not received proper attention at schools, so students lack a “teacher-friend” who they can talk to about their problems.

The MoET suggested setting up a model of giving psychological consultancy at schools with the aim of improving students’ social skills. — VNS



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