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Transforming Bullying Reporting in Schools: A Digital Solution

Transforming Bullying Reporting in Schools: A Digital Solution
Published at 11 July 2024 | Romania

General details

EDIHs involved

Customer

Sigla prefectura
Customer type: PSO
Customer size: Medium (50-249)

Services provided
Test before invest
Technologies
Cloud Services
Big data
Sectors
Education
Smart City

Challenges

In 2023, the Ministry of Education issued Order 6235, mandating local public authorities, particularly prefectures, to gather data on bullying in schools and propose interventions where necessary. Last year, this data collection was conducted on paper, and volunteers manually entered the completed forms into Excel. However, due to the extensive labor required to compile and digitize the data, only a limited number of schools participated, resulting in a single data collection campaign.

Romania has approximately 3.5 million students, with around 113,000 in Constanța County alone. Given the scale and the inefficiency of the manual process, the beneficiary sought a digital solution for data collection and analysis. They aimed for a system that could support multiple data collection campaigns, enabling a more detailed and dynamic understanding of the bullying phenomenon over time and across various parameters.

Solutions

We developed an application to facilitate data collection, incorporating the form specified by the ministerial order. As of May 16, 2024, the beneficiary can use this app to efficiently gather data.

The application automatically processes and interprets the collected data, providing the beneficiary with immediate access to seven different reports. Additional reports are currently in development, and we will continue to create new reports based on future requirements. The app also allows detailed viewing of individual responses, enabling targeted interventions where necessary.

The app is hosted on servers provided by the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH), ensuring a seamless data collection and analysis process. Looking ahead, this application will enable the beneficiary to design new questionnaires to gather data on various other phenomena of interest.

The application is publicly accessible at: https://cityinnohub.ro/formulare/chestionar.

Results and Benefits

To date, 17,342 forms have been completed by students across various schools in Constanța County. Thanks to the involvement of the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH), Constanța is the only county equipped with such a comprehensive solution. Previously, the data collection process was time-consuming and sluggish. Now, with the new application, the process is almost instantaneous, enabling the beneficiary to respond more swiftly when interventions are needed.

The beneficiary now has the capability to conduct multiple data collection campaigns and perform time-based analyses of the bullying phenomenon. This allows for the evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed and implemented measures over time. Comprehensive training was provided to the beneficiary to ensure they can use the application efficiently and effectively.

With this app, data has already been gathered from 180 schools in Constanța County, and the collection process is ongoing. Compared to last year's manual efforts, this represents a significant improvement in both scope and efficiency.

Perceived social/economic impact

Bullying is a pervasive and harmful issue affecting schools not only in Romania but across Europe. Various countries have implemented different strategies to manage and mitigate this problem. In Romania, a ministerial order issued last year mandated the collection of data on bullying. However, executing this directive proved challenging because authorities lacked an efficient, large-scale method for data collection.

Our application has revolutionized the data collection process, making it swift and extensive. This technological advancement was showcased at a public exhibition, as detailed in this news article.

The implementation of this application significantly enhances the ability to respond to bullying incidents with greater speed and precision. By providing immediate access to comprehensive data, authorities can intervene more effectively, leading to a substantial reduction in bullying in the near future. The application's impact extends beyond immediate social benefits, fostering a safer and more supportive educational environment. This, in turn, contributes to a more positive and productive learning atmosphere, with potential long-term economic benefits as students experience fewer disruptions and more opportunities for success.

Measurable data

Bullying is a serious issue in schools worldwide, including in Romania. Last year, a ministerial order required collecting data on bullying, but doing this efficiently was difficult without the right tools.

Our application has changed this by allowing fast and large-scale data collection. So far, it has gathered data from 180 schools and 17,342 pupils in Constanța County. 

Key Achievements and Future Potential:

  1. Efficient Data Collection:

    • The application collects data quickly and effectively from many schools and students.

    • With over 17,000 pupils’ data, authorities can quickly analyze and address bullying incidents.

  2. Leading by Example:

    • Constanța County is the first to use this technology for tackling bullying, serving as a role model.

    • This success could inspire other counties or even national adoption of the application.

  3. Promoting Digitalization:

    • Seeing the application’s success has motivated other authorities to request similar digital tools for their needs.

    • This trend supports a broader move towards digitalizing public services.

  4. Improved Bullying Intervention:

    • The application allows for faster and more accurate responses to bullying, which can reduce incidents.

    • Schools can now provide a safer environment for students more effectively.

DMA score and results - Stage 0

Digital Maturity Level - 25% (Basic Level)

Lessons learned

Do's:

  1. Embrace New Technologies:

    • Implement modern solutions for data collection to improve efficiency and reception.

    • Utilize advanced server configurations and optimization strategies to handle large datasets effectively.

  2. Plan for Scalability:

    • Anticipate rapid growth in data volume and prepare scalable infrastructure to manage high data loads.

    • Ensure your servers and applications are equipped to handle significant amounts of data without performance degradation.

  3. Optimize Data Handling:

    • Use query optimization techniques to improve report generation times and overall application performance.

    • Optimize data export processes to handle large datasets, considering the necessary memory and computational resources.

  4. Enhance Server Capabilities:

    • Upgrade server capacities proactively as data requirements increase to maintain performance.

    • Implement appropriate server configurations to manage heavy data processing tasks efficiently.

Don’ts:

  1. Don't Underestimate Data Volume:

    • Avoid assuming that initial server configurations will suffice for large-scale data operations.

    • Don’t neglect to plan for significant data growth and the corresponding resource needs.

  2. Don't Ignore Performance Bottlenecks:

    • Don’t wait until performance issues become critical; address them early with expert intervention and optimization.

    • Avoid overlooking the impact of large data exports on system memory and performance.

  3. Don’t Delay Upgrades:

    • Don’t hesitate to upgrade to more powerful servers when the data load outgrows current capabilities.

    • Avoid delaying the implementation of scalable solutions to keep up with increasing data demands.

  4. Don’t Forget User Experience:

    • Don’t overlook the importance of providing a smooth user experience, even as data volumes grow.

    • Ensure that application users can continue to generate and export reports quickly and easily, even with large datasets.

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