In Finland they fight bullying through the KiVa program ... and they do it successfully

We know that Finland makes a difference in educational outcomes, and that this situation is the product of many factors, including legislative stability in education, and the participation of teachers in the decisions made in this area. .

Today I wanted to comment that in the Nordic country there is also a clear will to fight bullying, and when I say "exists" I mean the commitment of all participants in the educational community at the state level. There a program developed by the University of Turku began to be implemented years ago, and at present it is not only applicable in 1500 schools (of 2800), but this model is being exported to other countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden or Luxembourg.

KiVa is called the initiative, and is an acronym for Kiusaamista Vastaan, which means "against intimidation" (Kiva is also used colloquially to describe something that is pleasant)

I don't need to tell you that I think that a methodical, global program, and that it has the participation of professors, students and others involved (for example non-teaching staff) is destined to be successful, especially if it is periodically evaluated. 98 percent of situations associated with bullying they have improved since KiVa began its journey back in 2006, and that proves that 'wanting is power' and that the best way to eradicate a social problem of this kind is to face it.

The international recognition of this system has not been long in coming: in 2009 it won the first prize in the European Crime Prevention Awards, in 2010 an acknowledgment by the Children's Law, in 2012, the Social Policy Award in Vancouver (Canada), ... are just examples.

This is how KiVa works

I have read that a good part of the interventions focus on what we call “spectators” here, since in a situation of harassment, the victim may have developed learned helplessness, but the one who is outside, if he feels he should intervene in favor of her (of the victim), must have basic strategies that allow him to maintain his position without fear of the aggressor.

The program has high quality support materials, but quality is also the implementation, that is the key. Teachers are also taught what to do, and this is very important, since it is not easy to successfully address such a problem, in the sense that the aggressor can be momentarily removed, but how do you act with him later? In this sense, the program involves the “bullies” in the process so that they are participants in the change, and only if this strategy fails are they punished, but it seems that the latter does not usually occur.

A series of group methods are used so that students from first to ninth grade of Primary Education are able to reflect on bullying and reflect. There is also a commitment from parents, and from schools they are asked for participation and commitment, as in Finland you have respect for the educational institution, students' parents are also part of the change.

This would be an aspect to work in our country, since there are still parents willing to work to improve (regardless of whether the children are victims, bystanders or aggressors) there are others who encourage intimidation, or belittle the efforts of teachers, and even They get angry when their son is called from school for harassing a classmate.

As I said, the success of the KiVa is motivating it to cross the Finnish borders, and it is coming to Japan, where a professor at the University of Osaka, is considering the possibility of proposing its introduction in the schools of the Japanese country.

And here we have seen very commendable initiatives worthy of presenting as those developed in Camargo (Cantabria), or Extremadura; We especially liked the TEI, whose author Andrés Bellido told us in an interview that the victim is never guilty of the situation generated. But I'm afraid we still have a way to go, and I wish that a good part of the educational community, we are willing to go through it.

Video: KiVa program international trailer (January 2020).