The Principal of Tema International School (TIS), Dr. Ken Darvall has expressed worry at the rate at which corporal punishment is still prevalent in schools across the country.
Dr. Darvall said the act of corporal punishment which is banned and illegal if not thoroughly prohibited, will have a detrimental, bodily and psychological effect on school children in the long term.
He observed that in countries where corporal punishment is banned, the talk of rewards and sanctions are emphasized in the minds of teachers and pupils.
‘’It is expected that teachers and school authorities desist from employing any form of violence related methods of punishment,’’ he said.
The Principal of the school in an interview with Goldstreet Business said the best way to promote and instill good behaviors, is for teachers to go beyond teaching in the classroom and getting to know their pupils.
On the part of school authorities, Dr. Davall said the creation of an orderly, friendly and safe learning and working environment should be a catalyst for both students and teachers.
In instances where students exhibit unacceptable behavior, he stated the need to allow appropriate punishments and sanctions to fairly take effect.
‘’If school administrators and teachers are condoning the act of corporal punishment as their first methods then they need to be dismissed,’’ he cautioned.
In certain rural-urban parts, some teachers and staff are under stress due to overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources and teaching materials and that may drive them to inflict corporal punishment on pupils.
He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) must put in place the processes and guidelines that allow efficient and proactive policies and monitoring measures that enable teachers and members of the school community to be assertive towards creating an orderly and friendly school environment.
As enshrined in Article 28, of the United Nation’s Conventions, ‘’Discipline in schools should respect the children’s dignity. For the children to benefit from education, schools and educational governing bodies must employ orderly ways without the use of violence.
Therefore, governments must ensure that school administrators review their disciplinary policies and eliminate disciplinary acts that involve physical or mental violence, abuse and neglect.’’
By Mawuli Yao Ahorlumegah