To understand the issue of bullying and abuse in classrooms and in school premises, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sought an online feedback from schools and students through a survey form. While the board is aiming at formulating a strong policy to curb the problem, many city schools feel the survey will not serve the purpose.
The schools have been provided survey forms through email and on the board’s website to share the relevant information on bullying. In its questionnaire, in two separate forms, one for teachers, principals and counsellors and the other for students, the board has listed different incidents such as teasing, calling hurtful names, physical intimidation or spreading gossip, to understand the forms of bullying in classrooms.
The survey comprises questions on students’ behaviour, frequency of bullying cases reported in the school, degree of intervention of schools, etc.
To get unbiased views, the officials have said the identities of those responding to the questionnaire and their responses will not be revealed.
Some schools have welcomed the move, but they say such surveys are not very important for curbing the menace. Few schools are still not aware of any such survey.
“No major cases of bullying are being reported, not at least in our school. I know about this survey and I feel it is a very good initiative. However, I feel this survey will not make any major difference. Schools are taking cognisance of such cases. We cannot stop bullying like this. Bullying will go on, but it has to be handled well. We haven’t filled up the survey,” said Deepshikha Srivasatava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya at Andheri.
Principal Sushama Misar of Kendriya Vidyalaya school in Thane said, “ The survey is not compulsory and so we have not submitted the forms. Usually, there is one bully in the class who is identified and sent to the counsellor. In major cases, we also involve parents in handling such cases. We have already informed parents to monitor their children’s activity at home because a lot of bullying happens over the Internet and on mobile phones now a days. “
P Selvaraj, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya no.1 at Colaba, said, “ I am not aware about any such survey as we have not received any official notification from the board. If they have uploaded a survey form on the website, we will check it. There are no cases of bullying and abuses reported in our school so far.”
CBSE officials, however, claimed that the objective of the survey was to assess the problem better and subsequently introduce a methodology to tackle it effectively. “Cases of bullying are rampant in schools. This exercise will also encourage students to report abuse or bullying of their friends, and will help check the language used by teachers in classrooms,” said a senior official from CBSE south zone (which covers schools in Maharashtra.