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School CP - October 2005

Corpun file 16798

Kathmandu Post, 7 October 2005

Training teachers to teach without the stick

Post Report

KATHMANDU, Oct 7 - UNICEF and CIVICT has jointly launched a 10-day training package for primary school teachers to stop physical punishment in the classrooms.

According to Bhanu Pathak, program officer of the UNICEF child protection division, four kinds of training packages have been developed in co-ordination with the National Council for Educational Development, to train the teachers.

He said that in Nepal's context, corporal punishment still remains rampant, especially in private schools. However, he said that training teachers on the alternative to corporal punishment can significantly reduce the crime.

"We are training master trainers first in 15 districts and then expanding the program, depending on its success," he said, talking to reporters at an interaction with resource persons and teachers who have gathered here for the training.

"By 2006, 1,500 teachers would be trained. These trainers will train other teachers," he said.

The Supreme Court has declared corporal punishment in school as ultra vires in a recent verdict. But the traditional methods of teaching handed down from one generation to another, has left many teachers still practicing it.

"If teachers are taught alternative skills, corporal punishment could be abolished, that's what we have learnt in our training," said Shova Sharma, a school teacher, receiving the training. She said that teachers subject pupils to some form of physical punishment because they were treated in the same way in their school days.

Stress management, identifying adolescent behavior, anger control, child cognitive development and other arts of teaching would be imparted in the training, said team leader and resource person Devendra Ale of CIVICT.

Many resource persons and teachers from Parsha, Chitwan and Kavre participated in the trainer's training workshop, which started here Friday.  

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