07 May 2014 18:00

A study carried out by pupils at Latsia Gymnasium has made some important findings on racism and bullying at schools.
Entitled 'Racism and Physical Education', the study won the first prize in the gymnasium category in a country-wide contest for pupils attending gymnasiums and lyceums which was organised by the University of Nicosia.
The first prize in the lyceum category was won by Kykkos B Lyceum with a study looking at the consequences of the financial crisis.
The Latsia pupils' study found that pupils were being victimised by verbal abuse and exclusion.
The small differences in numbers of incidents that involved either boys or girls and pupils with either two Cypriot parents or one or two foreign parents indicate some sexism and racism, but not to a significant degree.
A more noticeable trend can be seen when it comes to academic performance.
Specifically, according to the results of the study, 5.9% of the girls said they had been sworn at by other children at the school a few times while 4.5% said they were verbally attacked often.
When it comes to the boys, 3.6% said they had been verbally attacked a few times while 0.9% said they were sworn at often and another 6.3% very often.
Some 25.5% of girls and 22.3% of boys said they had very rarely been verbally abused.
In terms of pupils with one or two non-Cypriot parents, the study showed that 32% said they were sometimes verbally abused, with another 10% saying these were sworn at often and 4% very often. This final figure is lower than the 6.3% of pupils with two Cypriot parents who said they were verbally abused very often.
Asked if other children excluded them from play, 5.9% of the girls said they sometimes were, along with 3.6% of the boys while 4.9% of the girls and 0.9% of the boys said this happened often.
Also, 6.3% of the boys said this happened to them very often.
The origin of their parents appears to play little role on whether children's peers exclude them from play.
According to the study, there are no marked differences in the exclusion experienced by pupils with two, one or no Cypriot parents.
Some 4% of children with one or two non-Cypriot parents say they are often left out of play whiled 3.7% of the pupils with two Cypriot parents said the same.
The differences between boys and girls and pupils with two, one or no Cypriot parents are also small when it comes to pupils being made to feel uncomfortable during PE activities.
Specifically, 13.9% of the girls and 12.5% of the boys said they sometimes felt uncomfortable while 3% of the girls and 1.8% of the boys said they often did.
Also, 14% of the children with one or two non-Cypriot parents and 13% of children with two Cypriot parents said they sometimes felt uncomfortable.
The study was carried out through an anonymous questionnaire answered by 214 pupils at Latsia Gymnasium of which 112 were boys and 102 girls.
The pupils, who were randomly chosen to participate, were given 15 minutes in class to answer 30 multiple choice questions and one open-ended question which was divided into three sections.
Once complete, the findings of the study were printed out and distributed at the school.
The study was carried out by pupils Mikaella Tryfonos, Elisavet Pitta, Elia Nicholaou and Anthia Marouli, under the guidance of teachers Christina Davarouka and Michalis Katsoulis.
 


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