Some parents on Tuesday in Lagos called for the abolition of corporal punishment in primary and post-primary schools across the country.
The parents say that the use of corporal punishment, including caning to correct misdemeanour among students, was outdated and unacceptable.
Chidinma Ukachukwu, a 12-year old student of a secondary school in Awka, Anambra, died last week after she was allegedly flogged by her teacher for failing to do her homework. Mr Tajudeen Lawal, Deputy Director, Lagos State Library Board, said the use of corporal punishment by teachers was as a result of the economic situation in the country.
“I really do not support corporal punishment in schools, but the poor economic situation in the country may have triggered this.
“It is better to explain things to children than beating them in order to make them to do the right thing.
“Other modes of punishment should be adopted in correcting disobedience or misbehaviour among students,” he notes.
Lawal, however, advised state ministries of education and school authorities to come up with other means of punishing students who misbehave.
“They can be asked to clean toilets and cut grass, and so on,” he said. In his comment, a lawyer, Mr Worer Obuagbaka, called for the abolition of corporal punishment in schools without further delay.
“I will not subscribe to the use of corporal punishment in schools any longer. There should be better ways of correcting students’ misdemeanours.
“Although punishing students makes them better persons, the teachers should do it moderately and with human face and not by flogging them.”
“Beating does not help a child; rather it hardens them and they may not likely take to correction.”
Mrs Adewunmi Omowunmi, also described corporal punishment as an outdated means of reprimanding or punishing erring students.
“I do not believe in corporal punishment and it does not help the development of the children.
“Beating does not help a child in anyway, but makes them develop a thick skin to offences,” Omowunmi, a businesswoman, said.
Mr Tunde Adebowale, a government official, also believed that applying corporal punishment on students was a reflection of the economic situation in the country.
“The corporal punishment being meted on students is a reflection of the type of society we live in. Our value systems are no longer there.
“Parents now shift their responsibilities to teachers who may not be psychologically fit, sometimes to do the job, because of the poor economic situation in the country.
“Other means of correcting students should be adopted, while the students should also behave well and obey the authorities,” Adebowale added.
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