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Survey: 44.3% of Georgian Schoolchildren Have Been Bullied

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 27
Georgian Public Defender’s survey revealed that around 44.3% of Georgian school children have been victims of bullying at least once.

The Human Rights Academy of the Public Defender conducted a survey in 64 public and private schools throughout Georgia in order to implement educational activities in the sphere of human rights and freedoms and support human rights education on the level of general education.

Interviews were conducted with three groups: 7-12th graders, teachers of the subjects, the curriculum of which include human rights aspects, and representatives of school administration (a total of 1480 interviews).

The document reads that 54.5% of pupils say they have never been bullied, while 47.7% say they have heard or witnessed bullying cases.

According to the survey, 8.8% of the respondents who had been bullied have not done anything to protect themselves. They either they did not know whom to address or they thought reporting the abusers would not be right and would worsen the situation.

It turned out that boys hide mockery and bullying facts more than girls. 13.5% of schoolboys believe it is a shame to tell others about it, while only 5.2% of schoolgirls think that informing parents or school administration about bullying is incorrect.

As for reacting to the facts of mockery or bullying, 37% of respondents said they took the side of the victim, while 661 students admitted they did not do anything. Out of these students, 27.1% stated they did not want to be involved in the quarrel, while 19.7% could not think of what to do. 11.6% of respondents said even if they told others, it would not prevent bullying cases.

At the presentation of the survey results, te Public Defender Nino Lomjaria spoke about the necessity for improving human rights education at the general education level, as well as the educational environment, noting that in spite of the steps taken for strengthening civic education in the last few years, human rights have a modest share in the curricula and are mainly reflected in the subjects of social studies.

The Ombudsman said the low level of awareness of human rights among schoolchildren is largely based on two important factors: less focus on human rights issues in teacher’s educational programs in higher education institutions and less opportunities for professional development in this direction at the later stage.

“Little time is devoted to human rights education in general education institutions and the in-depth interviews clearly showed that the knowledge of students in this area is superficial,” Lomjaria stated.

The survey was funded by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and it reviews challenges and problems in the field of human rights education – curricula, regulatory framework for general education, school climate and practices of management/administration.