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School CP - February 2018

Corpun file 26662 at

Blueprint Newspaper, Abuja, 9 February 2018

Experts urge teachers not to flog school girls

Teachers' disciplinary measures which involve flogging theerring student either on the buttocks or on the hands with awhip, is meant to create a more disciplined learning environment.

On the other hand, while scores of educationists are of theview that corporal punishment is a humiliating way of instillingdiscipline and should be abandoned, others believe that withoutit, students may take a wrong turn in life.

Recently, there was huge public outrage in Nasarawa statefollowing a video which had go viral on social media showing amale teacher flogging female students at Government ScienceSecondary School Nassarawa-Eggon, on their buttocks, overlateness. The state government swiftly reacted by abrogatingcorporal punishment in schools and suspended some teachers fromthe said school.

A female teacher said corporal punishment which involvesflogging students is a legal means of changing undesiredbehaviour in the classroom but too much of it could lead toinjury and even affect students' achievements.

An educationist, Dr Ibrahim Eshi, said that flogging is anacceptable punishment for female students but because of theirweakness, they should not receive strokes of the cane like theirmale counterparts. He said female students could be given hardlabour instead of flogging because it could become fatal, addingthat it is inappropriate to flog female students on the buttocksduring their periods.

"These practices flourished in the 1960s and 1970s whensome of us were in school, because in those days educationistshad no broad perspective on corporal punishment. Theyadministered it at the level they wanted, even on femalestudents. But today there are other segments that could beapplied on female students," he said.

Eshi further stressed that dealing with inappropriatebehaviour in female schools could be very challenging, addingthat the best approach for teachers is to invite parents andbrief them about the attitude of their wards so as to jointlytake appropriate disciplinary measure.

He explained that corporal punishment doesn't allow theauthorities to instill discipline in students in core educationalinstitutions.

"In fact, denying a child lessons for three days while hestays within the school premises is a good punishment," Eshisaid.

A retired teacher, Abubakar Suleiman, on his part, said thatcorporal punishment will not make students take their studiesserious, put them under control or improve their behaviour.Flogging will rather scare students to stay away from schools. Headvised schools to employ a guidance counsellor who will offeradvice to troubled students and assist teachers in takingappropriate decisions.

An educator, Uzokwu Chidibe, said one of the key elements inschool administration is discipline and that while it isgenerally necessary to control students in school, it is notacceptable to use severe punishment in the process. Therefore,teachers must devise means of talking and advising studentsrather than beating them, adding that if punishment is necessary,it should be least humiliating and that teachers should usepraise to reward students for engaging in appropriate behaviour.

Copyright © 2018 Blueprint Newspapers Limited.

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