Youth group calls for action on bullying
The Logo Puialii Samoa Youth Society has urged teachers and school administrators to address the prevalence issue of bullying in Samoa and recognise the issue.
The Society's President, Nah Fretton Folasa, said the children of Samoa will never exceed and do well in school because of bullying among adolescents.
The way to reduce such problems is through awareness, he said.
The response comes after a global study revealed that Samoa has the highest rates of bullying among adolescent males and females of any country in the world.
A total of 79 per cent of Samoan males and 70 per cent of females had experienced bullying, according to the research published in EClinicalMedicine, an academic outlet affiliated with the highly acclaimed medical journal the Lancet.
"The truth is I was not surprised to see the results of the report as we have all known that bullying has always been an issue in Samoa," Mr. Folasa said.
"But the biggest problem is there is a lack of recognition, Samoans do not realize that it is an actual issue, especially within schools."
Setting policies and rules to address the issue is also needed, he said.
The Tautua Samoa party leader, Afualo Luagalau, in a previous Samoa Observer article said that the roots of bullying began at home; a view Mr. Folasa endorsed.
"Children have older siblings, cousins or people at home who urge them to carry out these actions. People at home are used to urging their youngsters not to fear, but rather push back when you are pushed." he said.
"There is not enough awareness seeing bullying as an issue in Samoa and it is something that should be done. There needs to be a course in the curriculum on the issue.
"Encourage the children to talk to parents, youths, adults if they are being bullied."
Mr. Folasa said bullying caused some students to not perform well in school, skip classes and eventually drop out due to losing interest.