1 in 3 students suffer from bullying

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian yesterday sounded the alarm on the pervasive problem of bullying in schools, citing latest results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Gatchalian said the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 2022 triennial assessment of 15-year-old learners showed that one in three Filipino students was bullied at school at least once a week.

According to the report, the percentage of learners who reported being bullied dropped double digits – those who said they were teased dropped from 50 percent in 2018 to 28 percent; those who were threatened fell from 35 percent to 19 percent and those who felt they were left out on purpose improved from 33 percent to 14 percent.

But despite the improvement, bullying remains a problem which affects students’ performance at school, Gatchalian said, as he lamented the low scores of Filipino learners in math, reading and science in the 2022 PISA results.

The senator pushed for the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Act to protect learners from being made fun of at school.

As chairman of the Senate basic education committee, Gatchalian led a Senate investigation into the prevalence of bullying and found that seven of 10 Filipino students were bullied in public schools, making the Philippines at the forefront among 70 countries with the problem.

Citing Department of Education figures, Gatchalian said there were 21,521 cases of bullying during school year 2018-2019, dropping to 11,637 in SY 2019-2020 due to pandemic disruptions in schools.

Scaling up the findings of the 2018 PISA results to the overall Filipino student population, Gatchalian said up to 17.5 million learners may have suffered bullying.

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