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Korea to strengthen fight against bullying

The government said Tuesday it will create programs to prevent school violence and bullying, and put them on the regular curriculum by 2017.

The country has been grappling with unrelenting violence at schools, which led to a series of suicides by bullied students in 2011. In the wake of the tragic incidents, the Prime Minister’s Office set up a pan-governmental commission to deal with the issue.

Under the second version of its comprehensive countermeasures announced on Tuesday with a greater emphasis on prevention, the government plans to develop experience-oriented programs tentatively named “eoulim,” meaning harmony, and implement them at the country’s primary, middle and high schools by 2017 for 10 hours per year as part of their regular curriculum.

The new project will be modeled after Finland’s anti-bullying program named Kiva Koulu that aims to reduce and modify students’ disruptive behaviors and to provide school personnel with effective strategies to intervene in violence, according to Seoul’s education ministry.

“Students will learn how to communicate, empathize and recognize the seriousness of violence via music, plays and diverse art-based activities instead of boring ways as they now do,” said a ministry official. (Yonhap News)
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