Bright Side

People in Finland Created a Foolproof Method to End Bullying, and Every School Had Better Use It

It’s not a secret that Finnish schools are a great example to follow in many ways, mainly because they’re concerned with the education of little ones above all else. Finland has once again become a role model for the world with the creation of KiVa, an anti-bullying program used in Finnish schools to end bullying. This educational initiative is of vital importance since, according to data released by UIS, 1/3 of young teens worldwide have recently experienced bullying.

We at Bright Side are very impressed with this initiative and we’re anxious to tell you more about it!

The KiVa method

The KiVa method consists of an anti-bullying program created by the Finnish Ministry of Education. KiVa is the diminutive of “Kiusaamista Vastaan”, which means “against bullying” in Finnish. It was created in 2007 and in that same year, reduced the bullying cases by 40%. Currently, 90% of Finnish schools have already implemented it and have managed to eliminate cases of bullying in classrooms.

The goal of KiVa is to make students aware of the danger of bullying and to help them to become the defenders of those who are being bullied. Children cease to be passive witnesses and know that if they all face the bully together (instead of following the game), they won’t do it to any other child again.

The program is based on intervention and prevention, and here’s how it functions:

  • They use a virtual mailbox where cases of bullying can be reported anonymously.
  • They have a teacher who can be trusted since children need an adult in school who listens to them, understands them, and takes care of them. At recess time, teachers monitor their behavior.
  • They support the victim and sensitize the witnesses. There will be 3 teacher experts that will be in charge of reassuring the victim and dialoguing with the bully until the problem is solved.
  • They work on emotions and values. Children learn how to identify what their peers feel through non-verbal language and work on having empathy and respect for others.

Students who participate in this method receive around 20 classes at 7, 10 and 13 years. In this way, experts can identify different types of bullying depending on the age and work to end it.

Countries that are putting it into practice

Due to its success, this method has been implemented (and continues to be) in other countries. In 2015, the first phase of implementation of the KiVa anti-bullying program was accepted in the Latin American countries of Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, and Chile. At that time, the content was only available in English, so it started being used in bilingual schools. Other countries such as The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Estonia, Sweden, New Zealand, and Hungary have also started using this method in some of their schools.

Bonus: What should you do if your child is bullied?

If your child tells you that he or she is being bullied, it’s recommended that you follow certain guidelines to help you.

  • Show them that they can trust you. It’s the best way to create a climate of dialogue and understanding.
  • Explain to your child that they aren’t the one to blame and that you will be by their side no matter what.
  • Inform your child’s tutors and teachers about the problem. They should be aware of what is happening in their classroom and find a way to eliminate it.
  • In addition to your support, sometimes it’s also recommended that your child receives psychological help. This will help them handle the situation better.

Did you know about this method? Do you think it should be used in every school? We’d be glad to hear your opinions in the comments!