Research shows that diversity training can reduce bullying, both at school and in online environments but there is little training content available for teachers on topics such as mutual respect and inclusion.
In collaboration with DEPA, Thai Media Fund, dtac and PLAN International have developed and launched an online curriculum that have teachers trained about diversity, titled ‘Gender diversity respect to stop cyber-bullying’. The new modules, freely available online on ‘Super Teacher Platform’, provide teachers with a clear framework to educate their students on these topics. The move is a part of an effort to make schools become a safe space for young children.
On-uma V. Rerkpattanapipat, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at Total Access Communications Plc, or dtac, said: “dtac, Telenor Group and Plan International have formed a partnership to create a safer internet experience for all, promoting digital resilience in preparation for children to enter the digital era. We believe diversity training can have a strong impact on reducing cyberbullying in both schoolyards and online spaces.”
In a recent dtac-commissioned survey on the bullying behaviour of Thai students in greater Bangkok, 91 percent of 1,601 respondents said they experienced bullying. Among those who were bullied, LGBTIQ+ are the most frequent victims of verbal and physical bullying, sexual abuse, and cyber-bullying. In addition, 33.8 percent said that teachers are often the first adults students contact when bullying occurs. However, students lack trust in teachers, whom they feel lack sufficient understanding of cyberbullying and online risks.
To address this, dtac and Plan international Thailand recently organised a training session for teachers at 15 schools in northern Thailand. The training sessions will be augmented with an online curriculum called “Super Teacher,” which will be launched in January 2021. Those teachers who underwent the training will be certified, allowing them to train colleagues in their schools.
How to explain gender and sexuality
“The Super Teacher” online curriculum is a part of extended collaboration between Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) and Thai Media Fund. It is also in partnership with Plan International, a global partner of Telenor Group.
Plan International uses the SOGIESC framework to help students and teachers better understand the four dimensions of gender and sexuality.
1.Sexual Orientation (SO) means a pattern of emotional, romantic or sexual attraction. Sexual orientation may include attraction to the same gender or a different gender.
2.Gender Identity (GI) means the personal sense of one’s own gender. Gender identity may or may not correlate with a person’s assigned sex at birth.
3.Gender Expression (GE) means the expression of one’s gender that may be shaped by families. For example, females are encouraged to wear long hair, walk femininely, and be gentle.
4.Sex Characteristics (SC) means sex characteristics of a person since birth. Based on these characteristics, humans are categorised into either males or females.
Krongkaew Panjamahaporn, a specialist on gender-equality at Plan International Thailand, said, “Online and offline bullying happens because people do not understand diversity. Those who appear different are typically singled out and abused. In fact, differences and diversity are the norm. The human race has a vast genetic diversity of physical characteristics. Sexual orientation, too, can be diverse.”
“Telenor Group believes in diversity and inclusion because it represents the diversity of customers we serve, and societies we empower everyday through connectivity. This applies to the online world as well. We need to train our youth to be smart and also use heart in their interaction if we want to make the online space a safe and inclusive experience, especially when it comes to gender identity,” added Joanna Oustad, Head of HSE and Sustainability at Telenor Group.
About Telenor Group
Telenor Group is a leading telecommunications company across the Nordics and Asia with 182 million customers and annual sales of around $12 billion (2019). We are committed to responsible business conduct and driven by the ambition of empowering societies. Connectivity has been Telenor’s domain for more than 160 years, and our purpose is to connect our customers to what matters most. dtac has been part of the Telenor Group since 2001. For more information, seewww.telenor.com
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. For over 80 years, we have been building powerful partnerships for children and is active in more than 70 countries. We embarked our operation in Thailand since 1981, working with children, young people and communities to tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls, exclusion and vulnerability. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. Our work enables children to prepare for and respond to crises and adversity. Plan International drives changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels.plan-international.org