New programme aims to end bullying in NZ schools

Leah Panapa 23/09/2021

LISTEN: It may surprise you to hear that New Zealand has one of the worst school bullying rates in the OECD.

According to official figures, 35 percent of secondary principals have reported regular acts of intimidation or bullying - more than double the average of 14 percent.

This has prompted 12 schools in the Canterbury region to sign up to a new programme aimed at nipping bullying in the bud.

The KiVa system was developed in Finland, and encompasses three main principles: prevention, intervention and monitoring,

Rob Rush is the principal at Clearview Primary in Rolleston. His school has decided to take part in the bullying prevention initiative.

"This is a programme that looks really worthwhile doing - we don't have one at the moment - so let's give this one a go," he told Magic Talk.

Kiva is a Finnish word that means "to be nice or be kind", Rush says.

The programme is a 21st century model and focuses on the issues children face in today's world.

"I think the number one part of it, which I really like, is stopping [bullying] happening in the first place," he says.

Listen to the full interview with Rob Rush above.

Magic Talk.

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