Ministry eyes measures to tackle school bullying

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 2

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is considering introducing an “anti-bullying action plan” that would require school administrators and faculty to actively intervene in bullying cases.

To flesh out its strategy, the ministry yesterday invited directors of local educational bureaus to discuss anti-bullying mechanisms.

The ministry said it plans to slash funding for schools whose principals or teachers fail to report and deal with bullying. Principals could also suffer in terms of their annual job performance evaluation, the ministry said.

A recent survey by the ministry shows that although about 2 percent of the nation’s 950,000 junior high school students have been victims of bullying, the ministry’s Campus Security Center only receives about 10 reports annually.

Another poll of 3,199 junior high school students by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families showed that about 35 percent of respondents said their classmates were bullies.

The scale of bullying prompted three Control Yuan members to launch an investigation on Wednesday into the liability of the MOE and the Ministry of the Interior.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) demanded that the MOE establish a preventive mechanism and consider drafting an anti-bullying act during the Cabinet’s weekly meeting yesterday.

MOE Department of Students’ Military Training Director Wang Fu-lin (王福林) said the first task for the ministry is to tackle indifference to bullying.

Wang said the ministry hoped the threat of funding cuts or bad performance evaluations would prompt schools to take the problem more seriously.