The Education Ministry is being asked to amend the school curriculum to increase study hours for religion and morality to reduce violent incidents and school bullying.
The proposal is being prepared by the House committee on religion, art and culture. Yesterday the committee discussed research findings which link violent behaviour with anti-social activities online.
More time learning about religion, morality and culture at school should help overcome this problem and “we’ve agreed that students at all levels should spend at least 80 hours a year on these subjects,” committee chairman Suchat Usaha said.
Young children and teenagers being influenced by social media. Voicing concern they may imitate anti-social or violent behaviour they see online, according to the Bangkok Post.
Morality studies will “make kids more mindful. It will also and enable them to differentiate between good and bad acts,” Mr Suchat said.
The committee’s proposal will be sent to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. And also Office of the Basic Education Commission’s secretary-general Amnat Wichayanuwat.
School Bullying an epidemic in Thailand
Bullying in Thai schools is a major epidemic; the Department of Mental Health reports that 600,000 students are bullied here each year. Bullying in Thai schools is the second highest in the world.
Mental Health Department director-general Boonruang Triruangworawat says bullying in schools happens as early as kindergarten. Children imitate violence from online media and video games.
“Bullying is the beginning of the cultivation of violent behaviour. Both those who bully others and those who were bullied. It will also have an effect in the long run,” he said.
“The victims will be stressed or depressed and have problems with socializing. In severe cases, they will start hurting others or themselves, or even commit suicide,” he added.
“Those who bully others will have aggressive personalities and have less guilty feelings. They also tend to use violence to solve problems and might become criminals. Our society needs to pay attention to this problem to promote the culture of safety both in schools and at home.
Above all to reduce the loss of quality citizens caused by this [bullying] problem in the long run,” Dr Boonruang said.