World Vision Romania is sounding the alarm on the insufficient number of school counsellors and on the fact that, where they exist, children are often not informed, the foundation shows in a press release sent to AGERPRES on Friday.
Although some of the minors are daily exposed to violence in the school, family or on the street, four out of ten middle and high school students do not know if there is a school counselor in their educational unit to whom they can talk if they need it, shows a survey conducted by World Vision Romania.
37 percent of the teachers consulted by the organisation feel little or not at all prepared to identify children who are victims of violence, and in the case of bullying that happens right at school, only 45% consider that „they know what to do”.
A percentage of 43% of teenagers from villages see in their communities people who are violent and consume alcohol. At the same time, 20% of their parents consider that their children are exposed to violence on the street.
As regards bullying in schools, two out of ten children from vulnerable communities say that violence is present a lot or a lot. A similar percentage of teachers (23%) say that they feel safe at school only to a small extent or not at all. Asked from which direction comes the greatest degree of violence against them, according to the teaching staff consulted by the organisation, 36% said parents, 27% students, and 8% answered that from the director of the educational unit or other colleagues. To the same question, over 25% of the teachers preferred not to answer.
In a research conducted this year by World Vision Romania, 55% of teachers say that they have witnessed acts of violence in their school. On the other hand, only 45% consider that they „know what they have to do” and 40% participated in training on how to respond to school violence.
Moreover, the foundation draws attention to the fact that the number of child abuse cases reported to General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGSPC) has increased, from 11,903 in the January-September 2021 period, to 12,761 in the same period last year. In addition, the number of domestic violence cases registered by the Romanian Police also increased, from 23,000 in 2018 to over 26,000 in the first half of the previous year.
World Vision Romania currently supports over 30,000 children, parents and teachers with non-formal education activities aimed at socio-emotional development, preventing violence in schools and ensuring a school climate based on responsibility, empathy, equity and children’s unfettered access to their rights.