The Micro-Politics of Schooling in Lesotho: Bullying

David Makafane, Tankie Khalanyane


The paper is based on a study undertaken in 2015 to 2017 that explored the micro-politics of schooling in Lesotho, with specific focusing on bullying. A qualitative research design was adopted to probe for in-depth information about bullying in schools. The methodology employed was the case study approach in two high schools in Roma Valley. The population of the study was all teachers and students in the two high schools in Roma valley, while the sample comprised six teachers and eight students, who were purposively selected.

The study found out that bullying exists not only during school activities, but even during after school activities that learners are involved in. It was also found that bullying has negative consequences to all parties; perpetrators, victims and bystanders. Findings further revealed that the minority members of the society like visually impaired people, physically challenged and students with poor background are more prone to bullying because most of them do not have power to counteract bullies. The study further found that newly arrived students are the ones who are mostly targeted by bullies under the pretext of being taught the culture of the school. The study also found that teachers view bullying as an act of power imbalance where a powerful person takes advantage of a less powerful or vulnerable person. The study also found that cyber bullying is the latest form of bullying which is more harmful than any other form of bullying. The study also found that bullying contributes to depression and low self-esteem, which can lead to poor school performance and suicidal tendencies amongst the victims and bystanders.

The study therefore recommends that Lesotho government should come up with a policy to eliminate bullying in schools and establish programmes directed at teaching learners attitudes, knowledge and skills which they can use to circumvent bullying.

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