What You Should Know About Finland’s New Anti-Bullying Program

We all have experienced bullying at least once in our lives; either at school or at work or even at home. Bullying lowers our self-esteem and may cause psychological health problems, over the long run. It’s not great.

Finland, which has the best education system in the world, targets young children of different ages by providing different activities, games and questions to raise more awareness- not only about bullying but on how it could be helped as well.

The main focus of the program is to answer the following question:

“If you saw bullying, what do you do?”

During school hours, teachers are not always around to spot harassment between students, but other children often are there and so they are encouraged to step up and take action if they see another kid being attacked.

The program is called Kiva which means “against bullying”

It works through computer games and technology.

In one of the games, the kids have control over cartoon characters who are put in a variety of bullying situations that they would see in school. The children witness the bullying on their screens and they have to decide what to do. For example, they have the option of either defending the victim, or to do something else like calling a teacher. Their decisions open other chambers of consequences and lead to new scenes.

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Students also learn what to say to someone who has been bullied and how to be nice to them.

The children experience more situations of bullying in their virtual world. They get to practice what to say to someone who was bullied, or to someone who is new in the school.

Through being involved in many bullying scenes, children learn to empathize with the victims and  to say the right things to diminish their suffering.

The program has been proven to be successful. It has reduced the number of reported bullying significantly. Other countries are hoping to introduce the same program to their schools.

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