West Japan school board to test ‘bullying monitoring system’ in 3 elementary schools

NARA – The school board in Nara prefecture in western Japan will test a “bullying monitoring system” in three public elementary schools in the prefecture to detect signs of bullying from different angles, independently a teacher’s experience or skills.

The Nara Prefectural Board of Education revealed the plan during a meeting of the Prefectural Anti-Bullying Liaison Council held in Nara city on May 19. It aims to detect abnormalities in children and solve problems at an early stage by judging cases according to unified standards. The school board will check whether the system actually helps to prevent bullying and decide whether to use the system in other schools as well.

The council came up with the idea of ​​the computer system that allows full professors to judge the risk. The likelihood of students being bullied is classified into three levels: “possible”, “strongly possible” and “probably serious”.

In each level, 18 items about students must be checked, such as “not concentrating in class”, “hesitating to come to school” and “their shoes or belongings are missing”. Teachers place a check mark if a student meets any of these criteria and ask the whole school to pay attention to it, including their living conditions. The board also requires schools to take steps such as stepping up observations and establishing a countermeasures committee based on the possibility of students being bullied. Members of the school board in each municipality are also authorized to view data from the anti-bullying system.

System testing has already started at Gojo Kitauchi Municipal Elementary School in January 2021. It will also be conducted at Kawai Daiichi and Daini Municipal Elementary Schools in Kawai City.

The board plans to update the system based on test results and develop an additional version for high schools. Yuichi Toda, acting chairman of the board and a professor at Osaka Kyoiku University, told the Mainichi Shimbun, “Its goal is to detect bullying using unified standards without missing a case. We would like to capture the issues by testing the system in three elementary schools. first, then improve it.”

(Japanese original by Tatsuo Murase, Nara Bureau)

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