An increasing number of students are punished for violence and bullying at schools, suggesting that school violence is still rampant despite national efforts to bring it to an end, a report showed Sunday.
More than 38,000 students were punished for violence or bullying last year, almost twice as many as in 2010, according to education office data released by Rep. An Min-suk of the Democratic Party.
The report showed that the number of children punished for school bullying has continued to grow. A total of 38,466 students were punished for school violence or bullying in 2012, compared to 26,925 and 19,949 in 2011 and 2010, respectively, according to the report.
Bullying in primary schools, in particular, has seen a rapid increase, with the number of cases jumping up to 2,390 from 657 over the period.
Last year, as part of the national effort to eradicate school violence and bullying, the Ministry of Education announced its plans including dispatching at least one counselor to all primary and secondary schools nationwide.
The ministry also vowed to increase security personnel and install more and higher-resolution closed-circuit cameras by this year.
The report showed, however, currently only 13 percent of 11,360 primary and secondary schools have antiviolence counselors in place.
A survey by the ministry also revealed earlier that nearly 1 in 10 students at Korean primary and secondary schools suffered from some form of violence at the hands of their peers in 2012, suggesting that the government’s anti-school-violence measures have been ineffective in preventing bullying.
“President (Park Geun-hye) called school violence one of the country’s four major social problems, along with sexual and domestic violence, and substandard food. But worries and insecurity of students and their parents still remain high,” An said in his report.
“To prevent school bullying, (the government) should increase the number of counselors and find an effective and immediate solution to the problem,” he added.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)