School violence: 20,000 cases from 200,000-plus students

An average of about one out of every 10 students has experienced some form of violence in schools around Fiji. Picture: RAMA

AN average of about one out of every 10 students has experienced some form of violence in schools around Fiji. The IDADAIT Supplementary Book 2018 published by the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) for its International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) and circulated to all schools, revealed more than 20,000 violent cases from the more than 200,000 students registered in both the primary and secondary education system. Excluding sexual offences stats, the analysis of the evaluation reports from July 2016 to June 2017 revealed there were a total of 20,462 cases of violence in schools. The comprehensive report by NSAAC analysed reports from 750 of the registered 905 schools that submitted its 2017 IDADAIT evaluation forms to the unit. There were a total of 9529 cases of violence among and against girls and 10,933 cases of violence for boys. Girls fight because of various reasons — gossip, boys, jealousy, the feeling of inclusiveness, schools rivalry and just trying to stick out for each other. While for the boys, it is mainly because of show of masculinity, school rivalry, girls or standing their own ground. Cases range from: n Name calling – 5554 cases; n Bullying – 4604 cases; n Swearing – 4190 cases; n Punching – 3449 cases; n Slapping – 1574 cases; n Beating – 857; and n Cyber bullying – 234. Other issues in schools are: dropouts, 777; attempted suicide, 38; suicide, 10; suspended, 402; find another school, 445 and mental problem, 29. The reports revealed that seven lives lost through suicide were primary school students. Of the 578 sexual offences, there were 121 teenage pregnancies — 89 of which were in primary school. Meanwhile, the IDADAIT celebration will be launched on June 25. This year’s theme is “Healthy Child, Protective Family, Safer School, Better Fiji”.

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