Society involvement and professional competence of teachers and psychologists - determinant factors for combating violence in schools

The violence in schools was the subject of the meeting held today on January 30, at the Center for Human Rights of Moldova, with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Education, same representatives from departments of education and educational institutions of the academic environment, NGOs for protection of children rights.

On the meeting from 30 January, were discussed the causes of violence in schools; effectiveness of intervention mechanisms for employees of educational institutions in cases of abuse, neglect, exploitation and trafficking of children; problems faced by education directions and educational institutions in combating the phenomenon; leverages to actually implement the existing mechanisms for eradicating violence in schools.

The representative of the Ministry of Education Rodica Josanu, pointed that the central public authority in the field monitors the compliance previously created mechanisms for preventing and combating abuse and violence in schools. The official also revealed that the existing methodology is functional, but it takes time for awareness for importance of just applying the recommended procedures by the Ministry of Education.

The representatives education directions, study and sport from Chişinău, Teleneşti and Nisporeni  spoked about experiencein combating the phenomenon and the difficulties they have to face in this process. At the same time, managers and teachers from high schools „M. Kogălniceanu”, „Minerva” from capital city, „Alceu Russo” from Cojuşna village, mentioned the importance of teachers instruction, but also the prophylaxis actions of violence in schools, default by engaging children in activities promoting tolerance and respect for differences. In this context was mentioned very active support came from NGOs working in the field. A common view was that as to prevent violence is imperative that in the educational institution to be created a child friendly environment.

It was also emphasized the role of managers of educational institutions in solving cases of violence in schools and the role of the class guiding teacher who must convene meetings with parents to interact with them not only in the discussions focused on school success or funds collection but especially interpersonal communication, open communication and efficient  based  on pedagogical competence.

Participants in the discussion supported the idea that the present situation of violence in schools has improved comparatively with recent years. However, there are issues of violence, especially emotional and psychological; an important role in solving of such cases comes to psychologists. It was noted, however, that if the municipalities and cities the educational institutions are staffed with qualified psychologists in rural areas still exists shortage of specialists in this field.

Virginia Rusnac, director of the Republican Center for Psycho-pedagogical Assistance, pointed that both the legal framework adopted by the Ministry of Education for preventing and combating violence in schools, as well as the Education Code provides levers to eradicate this phenomenon: its comprehensive approach, involving all relevant actors in this process. Virginia Rusnac, also mentioned that the lack of communication or insufficient communication between teachers and pupils, teachers and parents, sometimes low competences, lack of psychological services involvement hinder solving cases of violence in schools.

At the meeting also participated the executive director of CIDDC, Cezar Gavriliuc, representative of the Teachers Union, Maria Covalenco, representative of the National Center for Prevention of Abuse against Children, Anglea Stefanco and  ULIM Associate Professor, Lucia Savca.