We need to strengthen discipline measures in schools to curb bullying – Clinical Psychologist recommends

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UCC Psychology Lecturer Calls for Strengthened Discipline Measures in Schools Amid Rising Bullying Incidents

Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Derrick Oppong, has highlighted a concerning trend where school authorities are becoming lax in enforcing discipline, particularly in addressing issues like bullying.

This concern was echoed following the recent arrest of eight students from Sogakope Senior High School and Combotech in the Volta Region, who were involved in a clash. Reports indicated that the violent altercation between the two schools stemmed from seniors at Combotech bullying a student from Sogakope Senior, resulting in significant damage to school property and the injury of a passerby motorist.

In an interview with UniversNews, Dr. Derrick Oppong emphasized the need to empower key stakeholders, including the Ghana Education Service (GES), teachers, and parents, to effectively tackle such challenges rather than relying solely on punitive measures like arrests.

“The schools have become weaker in terms of their ability to ensure more rigorous standards of discipline in schools. This is because most Parent-Teacher Associations are not functioning as they should. Parents and teachers have become a lot more less influential than they should be as compared to before and it’s time we revisited it and empowered teachers especially to identify early warning signs of bullying and provide appropriate interventions,” he stated.

He further expressed disagreement with apprehending bully perpetrators, rebuking the involvement of the police as such matters revolve around children.

“Parents and teachers should be better equipped to identify signs of bullying before it gets out of hand. It’s high time GES and concerned PTAs come together and start looking at how to reverse this trend,” he suggested.

Dr. Oppong then underscored the importance of education and legal frameworks in combating modern forms of bullying, such as cyberbullying.

“There’s the need for creating control of not just cyber bullying but also how individual data is used. Beyond just enforcing laws in the schools, we also need to start speaking people about cyber bullying in the same manner we teach about harassment at the university level and pre-tertiaries.”

These insights emphasize the urgent need for comprehensive and proactive strategies to uphold discipline in educational environments.

Story by: Fauzia Salim | univers.ug.edu.gh

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