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RULER   :  Archive   :  2001   :  KE Schools Jun 2001


School CP - June 2001

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Daily Nation, Nairobi, 20 June 2001

Schools assured over ban on caning

By Walter Barasa

The outlawing of corporal punishment in schools was not aimed at condoning indiscipline, a minister said yesterday.

Mr Henry Kosgey said the government's intention was to make the disciplining of students humane.

Mr Kosgey, the minister for education, said the issue of discipline in schools needed to be handled with care since it could impair enjoyment of education.

"Corporal punishment may undermine the purpose of education," he told 3,000 school heads meeting in Eldoret. His speech was read for him by the Rift Valley Provincial Director of Education, Mr David Siele.

Mr Kosgey said corporal punishment had been widely used to punish unsatisfactory academic performers but regretted that it had sometimes led to serious injuries to students.

Disciplinary measures in schools, he said, would be more effective if the teachers made clear the expectations from pupils and students.

Following the outlawing of corporal punishment, Mr Kosgey said that the ministry and the teachers were faced with the challenges of caring for and protecting children at all costs.

"Corporal punishment can be wrongly perceived as an example of the acceptance and promotion of violence against children," he said.

Hitting a child, he said, often sent a wrong message that violence was an effective and legitimate means of controlling and correcting behaviour.

He said the ministry was concerned over the plight of students hence the establishment of guidance and counselling units in various institutions.

"It is the policy of the ministry of education that all learning institutions establish and sustain effective and functional guidance and counselling programmes," he said.

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