In its quest to combat bullying and violence in schools, the Ministry of Education is looking at strategies to help educators and school officials. However, it is up to them to find solutions on a daily basis to manage the cases that occur.

Cases of bullying and violence in schools are recurrent. In some cases, victims no longer want to go to class. The parents then resort to a transfer request which is sometimes not possible. In order to make the school environment more pleasant and secure, the Ministry of Education is looking into recommendations from the rectors who met in a workshop at the end of last May.

The managers of public and private colleges that we met want specific decisions to be made to help them manage sometimes tense situations on a daily basis.

Barlen, a teacher at a middle school in the capital, explains: “Violence exists in all schools. Some cases are reported to us, but many are not. So we have to remain vigilant to detect them, which is not easy, because we also have to focus on teaching.”

For Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, “expelling students is not a solution.” She was speaking at a workshop with rectors at the Caudan Arts Centre. “In the past, expelling children was a common measure, but today, we can no longer consider such a measure as a solution to the problems we are facing. Support is necessary; expelling is not a solution. We must go to the root of the problem…”, she said.

In Mauritius, bullying is considered an offense under the Children's Act (2020), Clause 26. Forms of bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological (socio-emotional), sexual and cyberbullying.

According to the law: “Any behavior which is repetitive, persistent, intentionally harmful; or involves an imbalance of power between the victimiser and the child and causes feelings of distress, fear, loneliness or lack of confidence in the child. And which results in serious physical or psychological harm to the child, disability of the child or death of the child. » (Children Act 2020).

Robin Ramen, Section Leader at New Eton College, emphasizes that bullying has an impact on students, whether they are victims, aggressors, witnesses to the scene or even those who come to the victims' aid. This is why, according to him, we must adopt a global approach at school level. “Bullying exists and we cannot turn a blind eye to it. We must help with effective leadership, a safe and supportive school environment. Prevention is important and we must do it in partnership with parents and the authorities for monitoring also outside of school,” he believes.

It is also important, according to Robin Ramen, to establish a safe, child-friendly reporting mechanism that is confidential, allowing victims and witnesses to report the case without problem.


Among the points discussed between education professionals, it is necessary to establish a protocol to follow each time a case is reported. It is also important to establish a safe, child-friendly counseling system that respects confidentiality and provides support for victims, perpetrators and witnesses.

In managing the various cases, it is essential to update and maintain a database of all incidents. It is essential to encourage students to speak about cases of bullying to an adult they trust. The rectors emphasize that parents must be part of any effort that is made at this level.

Michel, a middle school rector in Curepipe, adds that it is also important to help the aggressors and prevent recurrences. Among the resolution techniques, he maintains that it is necessary to develop empathy in the aggressor; clarify that the behavior is unacceptable; work around the incident in class and in groups; and emphasize individual and group counseling.

Situation in colleges

The rectors emphasize that, depending on the situation, cases can be difficult to manage, especially when it comes to cyberbullying. However, some of them say they are facing a staff shortage.

For his part, Harrish Reedoy, President of the United Deputy Rectors and Rectors Union (UDRRU), acknowledges this state of affairs and points out: “There are many colleges with a shortage of administrative staff: Deputy Rectors, Senior Educators, School Clerks and others. Very few institutions are fully staffed and this certainly increases the workload of the rectors and certainly makes it unmanageable. The ministry should prioritise these recruitments.”

Regarding cases of bullying in public colleges, Harrish Reedoy emphasizes that harassment is a pervasive problem that continues to exist, posing significant challenges to the well-being and academic success of students. “It is imperative to address this urgent concern through comprehensive strategies aimed at prevention and intervention. The nature of harassment in Mauritian public colleges encompasses various forms, including physical, verbal, social and cyberbullying. Physical attacks, such as hitting or shoving, often coexist with verbal harassment, such as name-calling or spreading rumors, creating a hostile environment for victims. Also, social exclusion and cyberbullying via digital platforms exacerbate the problem, amplifying the distress experienced by students,” maintains the manager.

Finding solutions is imperative, he said, as root causes must be recognized and addressed to bring about meaningful change. The UDRRU president added: “Social issues, peer pressure and lack of empathy contribute to perpetuating the dynamics of bullying. Inadequate supervision and inconsistent application of disciplinary measures also exacerbate the problem, allowing bullying to persist in schools.”

Impact on students

According to the president, the impact of bullying on students is profound and far-reaching, extending beyond immediate emotional distress to encompass long-term consequences. “Victims often experience regression in academic performance, increased anxiety, depression and, in severe cases, suicide. Such adverse effects underscore the urgency of implementing preventative measures and providing support to those affected.”

Harrish Reedoy believes that to effectively combat bullying, proactive interventions must be implemented at different levels. He cites some of the measures that can be implemented:

Comprehensive anti-harassment policies, clearly outlining the consequences for perpetrators, act as a deterrent and provide a framework for managing incidents. Additionally, promoting a culture of respect, empathy and inclusion through awareness campaigns and peer support programs promotes positive behavior and reduces the prevalence of bullying.

Increased supervision and monitoring in areas where harassment is common, coupled with robust reporting mechanisms, facilitates early intervention and support for victims. Counseling services, peer support groups, and restorative justice practices provide critical resources for those affected by bullying, promoting healing and resilience within the school community.

Collaborative efforts are essential to combat the multifaceted nature of harassment. Schools, government agencies, nonprofits, and community stakeholders must work together to implement evidence-based interventions and maintain momentum in the fight against bullying. By fostering partnerships and leveraging collective expertise, a united front can be established against this pervasive problem.

Harrish Reedoy emphasizes that tackling bullying in colleges requires a holistic approach that addresses the root causes. Preventive measures must be implemented and support provided to victims. “As advocates for student well-being and academic success, it is incumbent on education leaders to prioritize creating safe and inclusive environments where all students can thrive without fear or intimidation . Through concerted efforts and unwavering commitment, we can bring about positive change and build a better future for generations to come,” he concludes.

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