The nature and extent of bullying among pupils with visual impairments in Zambia: A case of selected special residential schools for the blind
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of the study was to investigate the nature and extent of bulling among visually impaired pupils at Magwero School in Chipata District, St. Mulumba School in Choma District, and Ndola Lion School in Ndola District. All the three school are special residential schools.The objectives of the study were to: assess the nature of bulling among visually impaired pupils in special residential schools; establish the extent of bulling among the visually impaired pupils in special residential schools; determine whether the rate of bulling varies with grade and gender; and find out whether there are interventions which teachers could use to use to decrease the prevalence of bulling in special schools. A survey approach was used in conducting this research. Data was collected through a check list; group discussions sessions with the pupils; and questionnaires which were administered to specialist teachers to compliment the data from the checklist. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods in the collection of data.The target population comprised all lower and middle grades1 to 6 special residential school pupils who were visually impaired and all specialist teachers who handled them. The sample size comprised 75 boys and 75 girls visually impaired pupils and 15 special teachers. The study used a total of 165 respondents. The Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data from which frequencies, percentages and graphs were generated.The study revealed that bulling in residential special schools does exits and that the levels vary between boys and girls. It also showed that bulling was more eminent among the boys than the girls. Nearly all the pupils in the study indicated that they were bullied more than once. The study revealed that bullying mainly occurred in the dormitories and outside the classrooms. All the grades were affected by bullying but that it was more eminent in the lower grades (1-5). This scenario could be attributed to the fact that these pupils are new to the school and have very little experience of the school environment. The study showed that both girls and boys were victims of bullying. Boys bullied their fellow boys and the girls to some extent. In grades 1, 3 and 5 the rate of bullying was higher among boys than girls. Intervention strategies put in place to reduce the prevalence of bullying in special residential schools include counseling sessions, sensitization programmes, punishing the perpetrators and stiffening school rules. From the findings of the study, the following recommendations were suggested:The Ministry of Education to introduce programmes in schools to specifically sensitize parents, teachers and school administrators on the evils of bullying. The Ministry of Education should send more trained guidance and counselling teachers to special schools to combat bullying through counselling the bullies and the bullied pupils.School Head teachers should embark on routine checks in the dormitories and outside the classrooms to apprehend the culprits who should be sensitized on the effects of bullying. Schools should strengthen the post of house masters in special residential schools by giving them an incentive in form of an allowance. This would motivate them to reduce bullying in dormitories.
- Education