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A child been punished for going to school late
A child been punished for going to school late

Human rights groups demand end to corporal punishment

There is directive by the Ghana Education Service (GES) that only head teachers should use the cane following a strict protocol.  However, this is not adhered to and has given room for some schools, orphanages and homes to adopt their own regulation against canning children based on the ‘’spare the rod and spoil the child’’ mantra.

Corporal punishment by teachers still exists in government schools, especially in the remote areas.

According to UNICEF report’s findings, about two thirds of children worldwide (almost 1 billion) between ages 2 and 14 are subjected to physical punishment by their caregivers on a regular basis. And yet only about one third of adults worldwide believe that physical punishment of some kind is necessary to properly raise or educate a child.

This revelation was made during a forum organized by Perfecto of Sentiments Foundation (POS) on the theme:  ’’The role of the media and CSOs as watchdogs in promoting human rights’’. The workshop was held in partnership with Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR), Info Africa-Kenya and KASA Initiative, Ghana Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations Forum and the United Nations (UN) office in Ghana and was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Director of POS foundation, Mr. Jonathan Osei Owusu said, The 1992 constitution states in article 28(3) that ‘’A child shall not be subjected to torture or other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment’’.

He added that, the level of indiscipline and other social vices could be developed by children who experience corporal punishment and they lose focus in life. They cultivate the negative behavior and join other recidivism group and later become a burden to society to cater for.

Mr. Owusu noted that, violent children as a result of corporal punishment are not able to relate and socialized with their peers and older persons in the society.

Corporal punishment may legitimize violence for children in interpersonal relationships because they tend to internalize the social relations they experience.

He therefore recommended that, children should be educated to know their rights and responsibilities so to enable them participate in all their developmental process and also conduct sensitization and awareness rising on positive discipline to ensure that parents, traditional leaders, religious leaders, teachers and others understand positive discipline and use it in disciplining children.

By: Latifa Carlos

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