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UAE: How to report, prevent bullying in schools

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 3, 2021
Screengrab from MoI's awareness video on Facebook

Dial 116111 or log into the Hemayati app to report the incident.


The UAE authorities have renewed calls for the community to be vigilant about bullying incidents, particularly among schoolchildren.

In a new social media campaign called ‘Say No to Bullying’, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has warned that any form of bullying — whether psychological, physical, verbal or online — is a crime in the UAE.

Parents, students and teachers have been urged to report any form of bullying and other child harassments through the Child Protection Centre’s (CPC) hotline 116111 and website, or via the Hemayati smart phone application.

A specialised team at the CPC handling the reports of child abuse immediately provides support and takes the necessary action. All cases that require urgent police response are referred to the authorities right away.

The authorities also stressed the need for parents to maintain a good relationship with their children, so they can feel free about telling them about any incident of being bullied.

Aiming to raise awareness about the negative impact of bullying, the MoI’s Child Protection Centre has been conducting lectures among schoolchildren, focusing on how they can prevent and deal with instances of online abuse, including bullying and harassment.

Abu Dhabi psychiatrist Rania Mohammed said bullying has a long-term impact on the child depending on the age, and this affects both the victim and the bully.

“Children, who are sometimes bullied verbally or attacked by fellow students at school, are scared to report the incident to parents or teachers,” she said.

“It becomes even dangerous when it reaches such level when parents or teachers are left unaware that a child is being bullied. The traumatic effects of bullying among children can last for a long time, thereby becoming a permanent disability.”

Experts say bullying may lead to depression, hopelessness and, in some cases, even suicide.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) recently announced that ‘smart school’ technology multi-systems, equipped with facial recognition, are set to be rolled out across 15 charter schools. This tech will be able to detect bullying behaviours, as well as violations of Covid safety protocols.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.





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