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Corporal punishment in schools? Opinion divided

Opinion is divided over whether caning in schools should be re-introduced as a way of stemming the runaway indiscipline.

In the last one month, over 10 schools have reported cases of unrest, fires, and violence targeted at teachers.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has proposed the re-introduction of corporal punishment.

His proposal has elicited divergent opinions from parents and education stakeholders.

IMAGE: Itigo high school fire TV47
Fire consumes Itigo Girls dormitory in Nandi. Cases of student unrest has spiked since schools reopened in January this year. PHOTO/FILE

“Yes, as a parent I’d recommend we do it at home and we do it in school as well,” says one parent. “If you love your children, you should be keen to discipline them. If you hate them, then spare the rod.”

The secret is having a good understanding of the child’s nature,” opines another parent. “There’s another way of disciplining children. I am not for caning.”

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion says re-introduction of caning would be backpedelling on the issue of children’s rights.

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion: “Lets abolish boarding schools. We cannot claw back 2010 Constitutional gains by reintroducing corporal punishment.” PHOTO/FILE

“This is the wrong time to debate on the return of the cane because we have gone very far. We have put it in the Constitution, which was amended in 2010, the rights of the child under the Bill of Rights,” he says.

Sossion says the buck stops with the parents, for failing to create ample time for their children. He adds that boarding schools should be abolished as they deprive families quality time.

Psychologists and counselors say caning can be counterproductive.

Counselor Catherine Wanjiku, says corporal punishment can make a child feel like they are being unfairly charged or punished for something that is perhaps minor.


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