The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has said that it is in support of the ban on corporal punishments in learning institutions and condemned any proposals to reintroduce it.
In a statement released to the media, ZANEC said that ZANEC Members Organisations resolved to reaffirm their position that corporal punishment was not only bad for the learners but equally for the teachers.
Below is the full statement
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BAN IN SCHOOLS
The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) has reaffirmed its support for the ban on corporal punishments in learning institutions and condemned any proposals to reintroduce it.
During a special coalition meeting convened on 18th September 2017 ZANEC Members Organisations resolved to reaffirm their position that corporal punishment was not only bad for the learners but equally for the teachers. Members agreed that if corporal punishment was reintroduced in schools, teachers would be contradicting the provisions of the laws of Zambia particularly the Education Act of 2011 (Section 28) that prohibits it. Zambia is also party to the United Nations (UN) convention on children’s rights and the African Charter on the rights and welfare of children that both denounce corporal punishment.
ZANEC, is a consortium of 68, education sector oriented Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that promote quality education for every Zambian. ZANEC also builds consensus among players on various issues in the education sector to inform its advocacy positions.
It is ZANEC’s view that the ban on corporal punishment should be sustained and advocate for the use of other means to correct learners.
Corporal punishments is not just hurtful to learners but also promotes violence among them and does not show human dignity. Corporal punishment which involves physical canning and hard labour encourages absenteeism among learners due to instilled fear.
We are aware that since the ban of corporal punishment in 2003, some challenges have been faced regarding disciplining of learners but re-introducing it is not a solution as the benefits to the ban are more than the negatives. What is required now are concerted efforts between the parents and the respective schools to invest and engage more in counselling and guidance.
We are aware that the Ministry of General Education (MOGE) has introduced the Guidance and Counseling Department in all schools across the country. This should be the best medium to use in ensuring that learners are disciplined. The coalition members call upon the Government to ensure that Counseling and Guidance is introduced and mainstreamed as a subject in all teacher training colleges.
The responsibility of bringing up morally upright children still remains the primary responsibility of the family. It is therefore important that parents work closely with the schools to ensure that children remain focused and retain the discipline inculcated in them. The function of the schools on the other hand is to blend family and academic values in learners so that they grow into responsible adults.
The coalition members also agreed that there was need for more emphasis on civic responsibility on pupils in the education curriculum so that family values could be inculcated in the leaners. The coalition would like this emphasized to learners, parents, teachers and society as a whole that rights come with responsibilities.
Regrettably ZANEC members also noted that most parents do not attend school Open Days thereby missing out on an opportunity to share well-coordinated approaches with the schools on the correctional strategies on their children’s behavior. Parents have also been advised to attend school Open Days so that they could share ideas with their children’s teachers on how to inculcate better academic and moral values.
Besides encouraging parents to attend Open Days, the coalition members have proposed that Youth Friendly Corner should be introduced in schools to curb misbehavior through peer motivations.
Teachers should also sign a Child Safeguarding Policy upon being recruited for employment as a commitment to prevent corporal punishment.
Finally, ZANEC urges all learning institutions to strictly adhere to the government ban on corporal punishment as the measure was progressive.
Grace M. Sinkamba