Sunday, January 25, 2015

MoI Council in Bani Yas Addresses Efforts to Counter School Violence

Citizens: Awareness and Activation of Parents Councils as Means for Treatment

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, January 20th 2015 [ME NewsWire]

Citizens participating at the council of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) that was held in the reception hall of Sheikh Khalid Bakhit bin Tannaf Al Menhali’s home located in Bani Yas highlighted the importance of activating parent’s councils in schools. These councils will address student issues in order to prevent them from being susceptible to violence.  Participants also agreed that: students should be able to communicate their problems to these councils directly; supervision should be intensified on school buses; and the curricula should be expanded to include topics related to respecting the law and dealing with others who may be bad influences.

During the council meeting, which falls within the framework of the councils organized by the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the Ministry of Interior, the participants asserted that it is a shared responsibility amongst all community segments to address the issues related to school violence. It was also agreed upon that such issues could be solved through joint efforts made to reach both students and their families and to raise awareness via lectures, seminars, various competitions, and initiatives. These efforts aim to both instill positive behavior within the students and to introduce parents to the dangers and negative effects caused by family problems and how it affects a child’s attitude.

In detail, the council discussed school violence and how it affects students, they reviewed the causes and conditions that encourage some students to rely on violence, and studied various means for treatment and prevention. Lt. Colonel Obaid Rashid Al Mughni, Chief of Community Affairs at the Abu Dhabi Police Social Support Centers Department, noted that violence is not limited to physical abuse, but it can also include other forms that could be more dangerous. The danger of the other forms arises from the fact that there are no definitive signs of such abuse and that most victims do not complain or ask for help. “Many students are subjected to verbal violence when they are humiliated or ridiculed by their peers,” he said. “Imbedded insult is more effective and dangerous than direct insults.”

Lt. Colonel Al Mughni listed a number of other forms of violence including psychological violence. “This form of violence is a type of bullying. The weaker student is subjected to the stronger one and is then ridiculed by the group,” he explained. “Social violence leads the student to feel inferior to others and will consequently not feel like he fits in with his peers.”

  Lt. Colonel Al Mughni also pointed out to the efforts of the MoI in limiting all aspects of violence through the Social Support Centers that provide comprehensive care and education to juveniles in order to alter their behavior. The Social Support Care Centers also foster the skills of positive communication when dealing with others.  Concluding, Lt. Colonel Al Mughni shed light on the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program that launched a number of games and activities for the young generation that aims to raise awareness and to instill positive and ethical values and morals. 

The council was moderated by media figure Munther Al Muzaki, presenter for Abu Dhabi Media and from the Media and Public Relations Department at the Ras Al Khaimah Police General Headquarters. He stressed the importance of discussing school violence and in strengthening social responsibility to counter this scourge. Parents attending the council said that MoI councils are a good step towards fostering communication between the police institution and all members of society. In these councils, social issues are discussed and opinions are exchanged in order to solve such issues through cooperation and shared responsibility. They also praised the methodology of the MoI in reaching out to its citizens via the councils that welcome all citizens, regardless of their segment of society. 

Sheikh Khalid Bakhit bin Tannaf Al Menhali tackled the issue of addressing violence in schools. Sheikh Al Menhali proposed the forming of a committee of parents in schools to amicably resolve and address problems that may occur between students and urge students to handle these situations with respect. He also highlighted the importance of strengthening community responsibility in this regard to support any effort aimed at eradicating violence and creating suitable conditions for academic excellence and innovation for students.   Adding further, Sheikh Al Menhali expressed his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the MoI for launching these council initiatives to discuss and resolve a variety of issues of concern to citizens through the proposal of recommendations and efforts exerted from both official and social levels.

Captain Ahmed Ateeq Al Afrit, Manager of the Investigation and Coordination Branch at the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center, highlighted that education is a fundamental pillar for instilling values, ethics, and respect within the youth. “Positive communication and interaction within the school environment will curb the violence,” he said. Captain Al Afrit also said: “We must eradicate all sorts of physical and psychological violence from our homes so that it doesn’t automatically transfer to schools. It is also the responsibility of schools to persistently communicate with families in order to eliminate violence alongside organizing programs that enhance cultural and psychological programs aimed to educate students in regards to issues related to violence at school. Social workers and psychologists should also be present in schools in order to teach students on how to deal with their problems before they develop violent behavior,” he said.

Citizens Mohsen Al Menhali, Mabkhout Bakhit Tannaf, Omar Thabit Al Menhali, and Tannaf Ayda Al Menhali proposed a package of solutions that contributes to strengthening efforts in addressing school violence and educates students regarding the risks of violence and the impact of improper behavior. They also highlighted the importance of communication between the school and the home to inform the parents regarding improper behavior and actions of their children, and for school administrators to control such actions of students in schools.

Educational advisor Abdurrahman Wissal Al Abdullah, urged parents to spare children from domestic problems and brawls that lead to name-calling or beatings, as this affects the psyche of the child who then imitates and applies the violence he has witnessed at home on his peers in school and society. “It is primarily the responsibility of the family and schools to address violent behavior, however society as a whole is also responsible in countering school violence,” he said.

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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.


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