The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked the affiliated schools to send a feedback to the board regarding bullying in schools.
The board says the survey is an important need-assessment component which would help the CBSE understand more about the issue of bullying in schools, and subsequently design methodology to address the concern effectively.
There are two pro formas -- one for school principals, teachers and counsellors and the other for school students.
Many parents and students agree the problem persists in schools and often goes unseen as the victims suffer in silence due to fear.
A parent on condition of anonymity said, "My daughter studying in Class 3 is active and talkative. But I noticed that she has started remaining quiet at home. When I asked her, she did not tell me anything and I decided to talk to her class teacher. In front of her class teacher she revealed that her classmates call her by her nickname and keep harassing her during recess and games period. So her class teacher started keeping a check on the other students and promised that from now on nobody would harass her."
A student of a private school said, "I am a student of Class 7 and my classmates used to tease me. I get upset and don't like going to school. My mother noticed that there is some issue as every day I am giving one or the other reason to her for not going to school. When my mother repeatedly asked me, I decided to tell her. She informed the school principal, who started interacting with the students and asked the counsellor to regularly interact with students so that no student bullied others."
Talking to HT, Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, "Last year, I attended a seminar on bullying and held a meeting with teachers and counsellors to discuss the issue. During the meeting I decided to first create awareness among teachers, counsellors and students that what is bullying and then ways to tackle it. Bullying affects children, it can be physical and mental."
Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of Nankana Sahib Public School, said, "Bullying cases are on the rise in schools and adversely affect students' lives. We need to sensitise children regarding bullying and in the morning assembly we keep creating awareness among students. We have also received feedback from teachers and students and have come across many bullying cases. In one case, a class-2 girl student refused to go to school as two of her classmates stopped talking to her. When the parents contacted me, after talking to her I got to know the reason. So this type of bullying is affecting children. There is a need to create awareness so that students can handle these situations."
What is bullying?
Bullying is an act that is done on purpose. Bullies use their power (physical size, age, social status, computer skills) to threaten, harass or hurt others. Bullying happens in four ways - physical, verbal, indirect and cyber bullying.