Violence has recently spread at alarming rates, particularly among the youth, a phenomenon that warrants firm action on part, in particular, the parents, and the country’s competent authorities. Studies and official statistics affirm that various forms of violence, particularly among the youngsters, has noticeably mounted in the country due to the youth robust and largely impulsive and emotional nature and tendencies, holding parents and educational authorities chiefly responsible for the phenomenon.
Violence can be both verbal, such as uttering injurious words, and physical like robbery, arson, squandering others’ money, shooting, beating, murder and attempted murder. Studies affirm that the mounting violent tendencies increased after the 1991 liberation of the country. Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Bader Al- Essa said in an interview with KUNA that violence among students is a common phenomenon in all countries.
It exists in and outside schools and facing it is part of the responsibilities of schools, institutions, families and security authorities. Although the minister stated that such a responsibility should be shouldered by many authorities, he believes that the family is the prime party responsible for sound upbringing of children because a student spends most of the time at home and close to the parents.
The minister called for strict enforcement of the anti-violence laws, noting that punitive measures by schools, such as dismissal or banning the offender from taking part in exams, are not enough, stressing that the relevant law must be enforced firmly outside schools as well. Minister Al-Essa said sociologists and psychologists at schools “play their role, however the education ministry needs cooperation on part of the families,” noting cases where parents ignore calls by schools’ administrations to come to the school for discussing problems concerning their children.
Mariam Al-Enezi, a supervisor of social and psychological affairs at the ministry, noted that the ministry had worked out a special program aimed at educating children about positive values, such as shouldering responsibility, faithfulness and loyalty to the homeland. She confirmed that some of the cases involve disobedience, theft, smoking, damaging properties and verbal abuse targeting in particular teachers, noting that some of the teachers have been targeted with physical attacks too.
Dr. Fatma Ayyad, who teaches psychology at Kuwait University, said wrongful behaviors and violence among students exist all over the world, largely linking the phenomenon to parents’ quarrels and disputes. In some cases, a student resorts to violence when his protest to the school administration about harm inflicted on him (her) by another is neglected. In such cases, some may conceal sharp objects and use them in fights with other students.
A special report prepared by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs calls for activating role of the social specialists at schools and boosting communications between parents and school administrations. It also calls for activating role of parents’ boards at the schools, increasing social, cultural and technical activities.