Ghana News

Africa Education Watch calls for dialogue on corporal punishment ban in schools

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An education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has suggested that the ban on corporal punishment by the Ghana Education Service (GES), is contributing to the rise in indiscipline in schools.

This comes on the back of the stabbing of a student of the Konongo Odumase Senior High School by a colleague and reports of attacks on teachers and schools by students.

According to the think tank, many teachers feel handicapped in instilling discipline due to the directive by the GES for all forms of corporal punishment to be stopped.

Speaking to journalists, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare called for dialogue among the GES, teachers and teacher unions over a possible review of the directive.

He said teachers no longer feel motivated to discipline pupils when they err in school due to the directive.

“Migration from the centuries-old regime of corporal punishments seen as the most effective way to instil discipline in children to a contemporary right-based positive tool kit which frowns on the use of corporal punishment as a first resort hasn’t been smooth,” he said.

“That chain management has not been properly executed, so it has led to inertia. A lot of teachers are discouraged that their hands are tied, so they teach and go away, because they will go home with the same salary so why should they worry themselves trying to instil discipline in students,” he added, calling on the GES to meet the various stakeholders to find a balance.

“The GES must engage more with the teacher unions in finding a way to rekindle their interest in supporting discipline in spite of the introduction of the positive toolkit.”

In 2017 the GES officially banned all forms of corporal punishment of children in schools in Ghana as part of efforts aimed at promoting a safe and protective learning environment for children.

The GES directed in January 2019 that a Positive Discipline Toolkit which gives alternatives to corporal punishments be adopted by all teachers. The Director of Guidance and Counselling Unit of the GES, Ivy Kumi on Citi TV’s The Point of View urged parents to take on teachers who cane their children as same amounts to an assault on children.

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