New UNESCO report tackles school violence – Finland as an example of best practices
UNESCO’s new report maps means to fight school violence. Finland’s solutions are mentioned among the best practices.
UNESCO’s report acknowledges that in Finland pupils’ right to safe learning environment is granted through specific legislation – in the Basic Education Act. As regards to best practices, Finnish KiVa antibullying program is presented as an example of successful capacity building and efficient response to bullying:
“The KiVa program in Finland emphasizes investment in teachers and the overall school climate, stressing the importance of listening to children and ensuring that they have a voice. (…)The effects of the program, which have been evaluated in a range of studies show that national rates of bullying and victimization have decreased since its introduction.” – School Violence and Bullying, Global Status Report 2017
Developed in the University of Turku, KiVa program prevents and tackles bullying by introducing new research-based practices and tools. Since its launch in 2009, the program is currently being implemented by 90 % of Finnish comprehensive schools and globally in over 15 countries.
UNESCO’s report was published within the International Symposium of School Violence and Bullying organized in Seoul 17.-19. January. The Symposium aimed to identify best practices to ensure safe learning environment for all. Non-violent school is a right of all children and also an essential pre-condition of efficient learning – thus forming an integral part of the education goal of the Agenda 2030.
The symposium gathered more than 250 participants from 70 countries. From Finland the leader of the KiVa program Prof. Christina Salmivalli took part in the event.