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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

School violence threatens the quality of Dominican education

The INTEC research professor, Berenice Pacheco-Salazar, presented the results of a critical study of the situation of violence in schools

School violence threatens the quality of Dominican education

SANTO DOMINGO. -The levels of violence that are lived in the Dominican Republic schools put on risk the quality of education that children and adolescents receive, as well as the coexistence between students and teachers, since its manifestations are covered by a high cultural tolerance.

The statement is one of the main conclusions of the book “Be, be and live in school. A deep look at school violence in the Dominican Republic ”from the doctor Berenice Pacheco-Salazar, teacher and researcher of Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), co-edited by the university, the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) and the National Institute for Teacher Education and Training (INAFOCAM).

According to the approaches of the book, violence is a frequent problem in everyday life of educational centers and manifests itself in verbal violence (gossip or gossip, offenses, use of nicknames and threats), cyber violence, sexual assault y physical violence. In relation to the latter, the bearing and use of white weapons (knives, knives, daggers, needles, hair skewers) seems to be widespread among students, as they are used to attack, threaten and "self-defense."

“Beyond being a sporadic or episodic phenomenon, school violence is a systemic problem that affects the social dynamics on which educational activity should occur and, therefore, constitutes an obstacle to the improvement of educational quality, the achievement of the learning and healthy development of students and teachers, ”said Dr. Pacheco-Salazar.

La researcher submerged for eight months in the life of two urban education centers of the public sector working with people from marginal sectors, in which they collected information through the non-participant observation techniques, creative recreational workshops (theatrical expression, drawing and creative writing), focus groups and depth interviews. The sample consisted of 23 teachers and 604 primary and secondary students.

In addition to studying the violence that occurs among students, the book addresses the violence exerted by the faculty and by the educational institution towards students, through the lack of attention to diversity, suspensions and control of youth identities and aesthetics . Likewise, the study also connects the different types of violence that occur in campuses with gender violence.

In addition, in the activity the panel "Challenges for the prevention of school violence and the improvement of school life in the Dominican Republic”, In which the doctor Cristina Amiama addressed the issue of educational inclusion, attention to diversity and school life; the doctor Altagracia López, past rector of INTEC addressed the theme of the challenges in teacher training for the improvement of school life, and the doctor Miguel Escala, past rector and professor emeritus of INTEC analyzed the link between research and public policies for the prevention of school violence.

Response mechanism

The work reveals that the main strategies implemented by the student population to deal with school violence are: the act of betraying or “sneaking”, and that of reacting and defending violently.

According to the research, this is based on three main factors: the consideration that school authorities do not offer protection no effective support for episodes of violence; the weak institutional mechanisms in the educational center to address the problem; and the lack of emotional education, since the student does not have tools to handle their feelings or conflicts in a peaceful and harmonious way.

Finally, the researcher expresses concern about the lack of comprehensive and effective work programs for school coexistence which, in Pacheco-Salazar's opinion, affects the perpetuation of this problem as a form of daily relationship.

Berenice Pacheco-Salazar has a PhD in Education, from the University of Seville. Degree in Psychology, with a Master's Degree in Gender and Development, from INTEC. OEI Knowledge Generation, Innovation and Human Rights Coordinator. Professor and researcher of the Area of ​​Social Sciences and Humanities of INTEC.

He has developed his professional career in the educational field, from higher education and international cooperation, as a specialist and responsible for initiatives on human rights, school life, school violence and against women, gender and science, among others. Author of numerous books, articles and educational resources on these topics.

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