Bullying in schools

Students in schools are subjected to a lot of bullying and violence these days. A lot of students refuse to go to school because of the seriousness of the issue.  They are emotionally and physically traumatised by it.

Victims of bullying

Many children who are being bullied are often scared of speaking up. They are scared of the consequences if they decide to tell someone. When young people grow older, they are not likely to tell someone. They become more alienated and isolated, while in some extreme cases they have a serious case of depression which can sometimes lead to self-harm and suicide.

More often than not, a lot of bullies themselves suffer from some kind of low self-esteem and they lack confidence. Bullying may be a way of trying to prove to people that they are tough and have self-confidence to do what they want. Bullies might be having family issues such as parents going through a rough time or separating. Moreover, a lot of people who tend to bully others are likely to have suffered a form of violence in their past. Another reason may be to show people that they are in control or just to seek attention.

An example of bullying is the recent incident that occurred in Dublin. A boarding school in Dublin was under serious investigation after a teenager was bullied and sexually assaulted with a hockey stick by 13 other pupils. This could have been avoided if the boarding school’s authorities made bullying a serious offense or crime which would make the bullies hesitate or think twice before attempting such horrendous acts. A lot of schools and teachers tend to ignore the early signs of bullying because they believe it may be a phase for some students to bully others. This is not true and it is evident in the case in Dublin.

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Signs of bullying

Signs of bullying include depression, fear of going to school, hesitation to go out and loss of confidence in general. If these signs are detected early on, it could be avoided. Children or teenagers who go to school are usually ashamed to talk about the situation because it might make them feel like a loser. Middle school and high school can introduce anti-bullying procedures and methods where students can take part and learn the consequences of it such as suicide. Positive environment in schools and emphasising on preventing bullying can be one way of teaching students to not bully. Furthermore, clear methods for investigating bullying can be introduced to show students how seriously bullying is taken and to ensure it is tackled.

How to stop bullying

For bullying to stop, intervention of teachers and adults is absolutely necessary. It should be challenged. If any of the adults in school notice some form of bullying taking place, they should make it possible for the victim to feel comfortable and confident enough to report it. Dismissing bullying as a phase of middle school or elementary school is not a good idea because it can take the life of someone and it will be too late by then.

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Drug addiction

Drug addiction is one of the worst issues that are still prevalent today. Many people are addicted to drugs and they have lost their families, friends and jobs because of their addiction. Drug abusers and addicts must not be shunned away from society. Instead, they must be taken care of, they must be given proper support and assistance to overcome the addiction.

Misconception about drug abusers

There are a lot of common misconceptions as to why people abuse drugs. One of them is how society believes that drug addicts use them because they lack the willpower to control themselves or they have no moral principles or ethics. Moreover, a lot of people assume that drug addicts have the ability to stop using it whenever they want to. This is not true because once people start using hard drugs like crack and cocaine, it may be difficult to stop using them. They will constantly be relying on it. The drugs have a very negative impact on the user’s brain and changes the way they view the world. For example, a drug user might be under hallucination if they take acid or LSD and might commit suicide.

Why people take drugs

A lot of people start taking drugs voluntarily. But repeated use of drugs can alter their mind and thinking which forces them to use drugs regularly. It challenges their mind and self-control. This subsequently causes them to lose their power to restrain themselves from going back to the drugs. Furthermore, a lot of drug abusers are shunned away from society when they first start taking drugs which can cause a feeling of alienation. This causes them to feel lonely and depressed which again causes them to use drugs to make themselves feel better about their situation.

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How to help drug addicts

Drug abuse must be treated like a disease to help the addicts. Rehab facilities and centres for drug addicts can be utilised to their best because it will be a place for drug addicts to go in case they are afraid of relapsing back. Arresting people for their abuse of drugs is not a solution to it. Most drug addicts who have been arrested in possession or under the influence of drugs would start using it again when they are released from prison. Being in prison wouldn’t help them to stop using drugs. Chances are, they would be out on the streets abusing drugs again because nobody would be willing to look after them.

Some people use drugs for the dopamine high while others use it to avoid facing reality – depression, anxiety etc. Whatever the reason may be for abusing drugs, society can play a big role in helping them to avoid using drugs. Instead of frowning on people who are addicts, society can create more support groups or rehabilitation centres, as mentioned before. Having the opportunity to talk to people and listen to their stories can be of great assistance to someone who is struggling with drugs. It may not solve their issues completely but they would feel grateful if they have somebody to talk to. Small steps make way for greater success.

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Literacy rate in Maldives

There may be a lot of issues with Maldives but the one thing that cannot be denied is how Maldives boasts a 98% literacy rate. Almost everyone in the Maldives knows how to read and write. In 1978, it was not common for many people to be literate and educated. In the late 1970’s, it was only 70% that knew how to read and write. Considering this, 98% literacy rate today, is very good.

Education in Maldives

People in the Maldives are spread across different islands in the Maldives. Making a unified educational program in the country was difficult in 1978 but the people after 1978, UNICEF made a unified education program. UNICEF created the Teacher Resource Centers which  made the best use of internet by introducing long-distance teaching in between the islands.  This program did not only advocate for teaching children but they also taught parents and caregivers who were encouraged to take active part in in education.

In Maldives, 100% of children are enrolled in primary school with a 99% graduation rate. Having a 98% literacy rate in the country shows that people in the Maldives are very educated and well-informed. Compared to countries like the US, which has an adult illiteracy rate of 14%, Maldives is better. Adults are often very well educated and informed. While it is true that it is difficult to access better educational systems in islands compared to the capital city, Male’, a lot of people in the islands are also well read and knowledgable.

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In 2016, the literacy rate among Maldivians is better than ever. Even though they are well educated, nowadays, people tend to be restricted in talking about what they are informed of. Again, the government of Maldives is to be blamed because they do not like people to advocate against their rules and regulations. Moreover, the government wants to centralise Male’ and Hulhumale’ – two of the main cities in Maldives. This again alienates the people in the islands because they would not get the best form of education, at least not as good as the ones people living in the cities would receive.

Education is key to success

Having a small population in Maldives is one of the main reason for success in terms of education in the country.. To make the best use of having such an excellent literacy rate in Maldives, the government needs to allow more freedom of speech and encourage people to take part in programs that help them become more intellectually aware. Majority of the adults in Maldives are well aware about the important and underlying issues in the society because they had the privilege of getting the opportunity to study.

Why Maldives has a good literacy rate

Maldives has a small community and a small population which could also be another reason why they have a good reputation for their literacy rate. Most of the blog posts will make Maldives look bleak and dull but there are also a few positive sides to the country and one of them being that Maldives boasts a 98% literacy rate which is highly impressive. A lot of countries have people that are uneducated and struggling to read while in Maldives, it is very unlikely that a foreigner will meet someone who does not know how to speak or write. 

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Favelas in Brazil

Favelas are defined as slums in Brazil within urban areas. The favelas are often dirty, poor areas in Brazil where people who cannot afford to live in cities and make a living for themselves. People who live in favelas are often looked down upon by the people who live in the cities and belong to the middle class or upper middle class of Brazil.

Violence and crime in favelas

The favelas often have a history of being associated with violence and crime. Although it is true that the favelas and the people living there have the tendency to be aggressive and rough, it is not always the case. The stereotype against people residing in favelas is very high. Despite the fact that favelas are in squalid conditions and people don’t have access to basic needs and necessities, they have a real sense of community. There is no denying that some people in favelas commit crimes and do illegal things such as drug trafficking but by the same token, it is highly unlikely that they commit crimes in a way that would negatively effect the others in favela. They have a tendency to protect each other and take care of each other in times of need, in those communities.

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How favelas were created

The first favela came in to existence after the poor citizens were frowned upon, and pushed away from the cities. They felt like they did not belong in the cities because of their status, financially. Due to this, the poor and uneducated people traveled farther away from the cities to settle down in the suburbs. In 2011, according to a Census released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 6% of the Brazilian population lived in favelas.

The term ‘favela’ was first used in the early 1800’s. Poor and new migrants who were first residing in the cities such as Rio de Janeiro could not afford to live and had no money so they moved from the cities to the country-side. In the early 1920’s, favelas grew to the extent where people staying in the cities believed that it was a threat and problem to the society in some parts of Brazil.

Poverty in the favelas

Favelas are believed to be linked with extreme poverty. This is due to the fact that the distribution of wealth in some parts of Brazil are unequal. 8.5% of Brazil lives below the poverty line and in places like favelas. Another factor is how, there is a certain stigma among people who stay in favelas which causes them to have difficulty in finding jobs.

Drug trafficking which involves crack and cocaine are very common in favelas. There are many drug lords in favelas who make a living by smuggling weed and crack. Shootings due to illegal drug activities between different favelas are usual. Sometimes, the police even get involved but it is unlikely that the police intervenes in matters between favelas because it is highly dangerous.

Slum Tourism in Brazil

Today, favelas have grabbed the attention of many tourists around the world. It is a place to visit if people want to experience the life of people living in poor and near-poverty circumstances. This form of tourism is often referred to as, “slum tourism” in Brazil.

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Alcohol is illegal in the Maldives.. except in resorts

Alcohol is forbidden outside of resorts in Maldives. Considering how intolerant Maldives is in terms of religion, it is highly amusing and hypocritical for them to serve alcohol in the resorts to tourists while banning alcohol consumption to the locals in the country.

Alcohol is a sin in Maldives

Maldives is a muslim country so drinking alcohol and touching alcohol is believed to be a sin in the religion of Islam. People who smuggle alcohol to the country will be arrested and sentenced. Some people have faced house arrest while others have faced much more serious sentences such as three or five years in prison.

The consumption of alcohol is not allowed in any parts of the Maldives – except in resorts. In resorts, alcohol is legal to use because tourists from all over the world travel to the resorts for their holidays. These include famous celebrities and prominent people. However, this is very hypocritical and it is double standards because Maldives preaches about religion and obeying the rules and regulations of Islam. In the religion of Islam, it is considered a sin to touch, drink and even serve alcohol.

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Using alcohol for making money

Alcohol in the resorts are served by local Maldivians. They are not allowed to drink but they have to serve whatever type of alcohol the tourists request for. Religion does not seem to come in to the picture when it is related to making profit and money for the government figures. Fact of the matter is, tourists are unlikely to visit or travel to Maldivian resorts if they do not serve alcohol. To turn the situation around to their advantage, the government made a decision of allowing alcohol consumption for tourists. How deceptive is this? Maldives preaches about Islam all the time to people but they serve alcohol to tourists.

Islam prohibits alcohol

It’s contradicting how religion does not matter for the government when it is about making money. In Islam, it is very clearly stated that consuming or serving alcohol will ‘ban’ muslims from entering heaven. There is no proper justification that Maldives can give for banning alcohol to locals while making local Maldivians who work as waiters or bartenders, serve alcohol to the tourists and foreigners. Religion is used manipulatively by the government for their own benefit and not necessarily because they believed that alcohol should really not be allowed in the Maldives. In the Quran, it is stated that consuming any type of alcohol or intoxicant is a sin and outrageous.

There is no excuse for banning alcohol to the Maldivians and then serving it to foreigners. While it is true that serving alcohol and consuming it are two different matters, it is also true that in the Quran and in Islam, they have stated that it is equal if not worse, to serve alcohol. This is because serving alcohol is encouraging people to be intoxicated and drunk – which is frowned upon in Islam. Maldives claims to a 100% muslim country but an Islamic country would never serve alcohol to anybody to begin with, whether it is a foreigner or a tourist traveling from other countries.

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Racial discrimination

Discrimination based on people’s race and ethnicity still exists today. Compared to the early 20th century, it is not as frequent but there are people who believe in white supremacy and have prejudices against people from other races.

People across the world have faced situations where their race had a huge impact on how they get treated. To take it in to context, if an Asian travels somewhere across Europe, there will always be the possibility of them being subjected to unfair treatment just based on their race and ethnicity. Sometimes, it can be difficult for people to even get jobs in countries if they are a foreigner depending on how judgmental the employers are.

Examples of racial discrimination

Another prime example of racial discrimination could be how schools and colleges in some countries ban wearing headscarves. Moreover, some countries have banned wearing the burqa which covers the face. Many women who wear headscarves and veils have often found themselves in circumstances where they are treated unfairly and rudely.

White supremacy

Racial discrimination based on skin color is another issue that is very prevalent. People who are dark-skinned might not be given a job just because of their skin color. White supremacy in the United States was very dominant in the 20th century. The ideology that white people should rule over non-white people was powerful. They believed that they had the right to rule over non-white people, socially and politically.

Prejudice based on race and ethnicity shows how close-minded people can be. Countries that rank highly in living standards are often included in the lists for being the most racist countries. This includes Australia, which is considered to be one of the best countries to live in. However, in 2009, Australian authorities received more than 100 cases which targeted Indians and harassed them for their race. The situation is not as serious as it was before because the Australian government made laws to control the incidents.

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Reasons for racial discrimination

Reasons for racial discrimination can be a lot. Sometimes, the circumstances where people grew up as children can have a very big impact on how they view matters including being biased due to race. It can be instilled in the mind of youngsters very early if their parents show signs of white supremacy and making people of other races feel insecure or inferior. While this may sound extremely ridiculous, a lot of advertisements talk about fairness creams and using them to get brighter skin. This shows how people are fixated with skin color and how they emphasise on white skin color.

The inequity based on race is one that people are still struggling and fighting against. today. Losing the opportunity to get employment, subjected to harassment on the road, facing unfavourable circumstances happens too often. Laws need to be put in action and made stricter but young children and teenagers must also be taught to respect and treat people from different races and ethnicity with the same respect and dignity that they treat white people with. Race and ethnicity does not describe who people are. It’s their personality and attitude that shows who they are.

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Flogging in Maldives

Up until the late 2000’s, flogging for committing adultery was common practice in Maldives. From this, people can gather that Maldives was ultra conservative back then. Approximately 150 women were to face flogging in 2009 for extra-marital sex. However, only 50 men were to face the punishment.

Punishment for adultery

In July 2009, an 18-year old girl nearly fainted after she was flogged 100 times because she was found guilty of having sex with two men. She was pregnant at the time of her sentence so they delayed the punishment of flogging until she had given birth. The Criminal Court stated that her being pregnant was proof enough for her to be considered guilty and get flogged. However, what’s really shocking and disturbing is how the men were not charged with the punishment and one of them was just released because he simply denied the charge. And yet, the woman was flogged.

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The Criminal Court tried to justify the horrible ‘punishment’ by saying that their reason was to discourage the locals of Maldives from having extra-marital sex. They believed that doing so would prevent such acts from taking place in a Muslim country. When asked why the men were not charged, they were unable to give a proper answer. Flogging could cause  psychological trauma and it is highly embarrassing for the people and not to mention, it is a form of extreme torture. Amnesty International and other international bodies highly criticised Maldives for their decision to carry on with flogging.

Horrid flogging of young girl in Male’

The flogging of the 18-year old girl took place outside a government building in the capital of Maldives, Male’. According to reports, the young girl was taken to the hospital after she was flogged because she needed treatment afterwards. What is even more repulsive is how the flogging was done in public – there were crowds of men taunting her. It caused several  uproar and even public outrage because she was only a young girl. Even in the case of flogging, it is very obvious that the woman has to pay the price of having extra-marital sex whereas the men were allowed to walk free which again proves how misogynistic Maldives was.

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What happens when people get flogged

Flogging for engaging in adultery shows how intolerant Maldives was about religion. Today, flogging does not occur because they received high international criticism and pressure from other countries and world leaders for it. But flogging was common up until 2009 and this shows how conservative Maldives was as a country. Flogging was considered a normal method to teach people a ‘lesson’ on not committing extra-marital sex. Maldives still has a lot of underlying issues but having flogging as a punishment until the late 2000’s show how they were unwilling to let go of conservative ways of thinking. Flogging is cruel and degrading. It can have very negative psychological impacts on the person facing it and yet Maldives sentenced people for flogging. Backward thinking is a good way to describe the government’s methods of thinking because they use religion very often as a tool to assert their power when it is necessary.