MANILA - At least 6 in 10 Filipino students are being bullied regularly, a recent study showed, noting that the prevalence of bullying in Philippine schools is nearly 3 times higher compared to developed countries.
Some 65 percent of 7,233 15-year-old Filipino students "reported being bullied at least a few times a month," according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 survey published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The figure is higher compared to the 23 percent average of students who reported experiencing bullying in 36 developed nations including the United States, Japan, China and European countries.
The study also found that some 26 percent of students in the Philippines felt "lonely at school."
"In most countries and economies, students were more likely to report positive feelings when they reported a stronger sense of belonging at school and greater student cooperation," the study noted.
"Students were more likely to express sadness when they were bullied more frequently," it said.
Despite the high bullying rate in the Philippines, 95 percent of Filipino student-respondents said they "sometimes or always feel happy," while 84 percent said "it is a good thing to help students who cannot defend themselves."
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to "strictly enforce and monitor anti-bullying measures in schools."
"Nitong mga nakaraang araw, malakas ang panawagan na iangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon ngunit upang magawa natin ito, kailangang masiguro nating ligtas ang ating mga paaralan upang matuto nang husto ang ating mga mag-aaral," he said.
(In the past few days, there was a strong call to improve the quality of our education, but for us to achieve that we have to ensure that our school environment is safe and conducive for learning.)
A PISA study also showed low reading comprehension among Filipino students.