Understanding teacher’s perspectives related to Violence against Children in Schools
Keywords:Violence against children, corporal punishment, intergenerational cycle of abuse, consequences of abuse, teachers, safe to learn, end violence.
Introduction: Children need to be protected from all forms of violence in schools. Teachers can play a very important role in early identification, management, and referrals. However, for this, it is important to understand teachers' perspectives related to violence against children.
Objectives: The objective of the study is to identify to explore teachers' own experiences related to violence, identify factors contributing to violence against children in schools, and identify gaps in system development and training according to teachers' perspectives.
Materials and Methods: Data was collected via focus group discussion which included note taking and participant observation during discussion. 8 government school teachers (6 males and 2 females) from primary level to high secondary levels from Sheikhupura district participated in the research.
Results: Analysis of the discussion revealed that violence against children is still very common in schools, including harsh psychological and physical punishment and bullying. Some of the factors contributing to violence against children include the influence of the intergenerational cycle of violence, inadequate support, classroom management issues such as high strength of students, and how teachers felt there was no formal training given to them related to issues such as prevention of child abuse and neglect, positive disciplining in school settings.
Conclusion: This study indicates that the teachers should be aware of school and child psychology, mental health awareness, consequences of corporal punishment along with aspects such as the intergenerational cycle of violence, and there needs to be a more systemic approach to protecting students in schools against violence.