Third year students experience bullying at a tertiary education institution in Lesotho
Polonyana, Thuto G.
There is a growing concern of bullying globally. The study was motivated by numerous reported deaths at one of the tertiary institutions in Lesotho. From the year 2009 to 2018, there have been six reported deaths. According to media reports, students lost their lives due to bullying practices. The aim of the study was to investigate how third year students experience bullying at a Lesotho tertiary institution. A qualitative research design was employed in one of the tertiary institutions in Lesotho. Third year students were purposively selected to participate in this study. Three hundred and nineteen (319) qualitative questionnaires were completed and six students participated for interview schedules. The study found that bullying does exist within the institution environment, with numerous forms (physical, verbal, emotional and cyberbullying) practised. These practices had severe consequences on students. Bullying resulted in a hindrance to academic excellence, carrying of dangerous weapons, fear, hindered mobility, absenteeism, dropping out and exclusion. Bullying has become a violation to human rights in the Institution. The act of bullying is not limited to a specific group of students, all groups from first year to third year are vulnerable to bullying. The researcher recommends that there be a bullying awareness in the institution. Moreover, there should be a ‘suggestion box’ in the library that students can highlight bullying issues in the institution. Instead of students writing their names on these notes, they should write their cell phone numbers for follow ups. Furthermore, students should be equipped with skills to address their daily social challenges and lastly, lecturers should be equipped with skills to identify and resolve bullying practices. For further research, a survey should be conducted in the institution which will include all students.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, July 2019