The proportion of pupils in Cyprus who say they have been bullied is worryingly high, a new study on education shows.
The finding is contained in the latest report by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) which while focusing on pupils’ academic performance (reading, mathematics and science) also covered issues such as pupils’ background, the school climate and their quality of life.
The PISA results were presented at a press conference at the Education Ministry yesterday. The OECD’s assessment is carried out every three years and the latest report covering 78 countries is for 2018.
Concerning the school climate, the survey showed that one out of three pupils in Cyprus (34%) had experienced or currently experience school bullying at least once a month (EU: 24%).
The percentage of these students in Cyprus increased by 16 points from 2015 to 2018, which is the largest increase of all participating countries (EU: 4.6%).
Factors such as school climate, teachers’ enthusiasm for teaching, the support students receive from their teachers and the cooperation between students and the development of a sense of belonging to the school show increase both in Cyprus and in all participating countries. These factors are directly related to overall pupils’ performance.
Regarding the socio-economic background, which may explain the difference in pupils’ performance, the gap between pupils in Cyprus is less distinct than in the rest of the EU.
In 2018, the proportion of Cypriot ‘resilient” pupils — that is pupils who polled in the top 25% of the class even though they came from a disadvantaged socio-economic background rose to 12.8% (2012: 1.9%, 2015: 10.1%), with the corresponding figure in EU countries being 11% (2012 : 5.9%, 2015: 27.1%).
Finally, the quality of life indicator (i.e. how satisfied pupils are with their life) seems to be related to their academic performance, since those who claimed that they are “moderately satisfied” with their life have better performance rather than other pupils.