The use of corporal punishment in Nigerian schools has been a controversial issue across the country. While some consider as a necessary measure to instill discipline and foster compliance among students, others disagree, describing the act as inhuman. Critics of corporal punishment often cite its alleged abuse by school officials and teachers, for their opposition to it.
Corporal punishment involves physical punishment often given people who violate of particular rules. In schools, common examples of corporal punishments include: spanking, slapping, pinching or pulling. Such could also manifest in form of hitting someone with an object such as a paddle, belt or stick among others.
However, the Niger State government on Tuesday has said that it is partnering with UNICEF to eliminate corporal punishment in public and private schools across the state, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, made this known after inaugurating a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation on the findings of the UNICEF research on school-related gender-based violence.
It also focused on the research and implementation of the policy on the abolishment of corporal punishment in public and private schools in the state.
According to the perm sec, eliminating corporal punishment in schools would encourage the enrollment of children in school, especially, the enrollment of the girl-child. He added:
“In keeping pace with the facts of the finding of the research, Niger State Ministry of Education, while recognising the negative implication of violence against children in school on enrollment, retention and completion issued a circular to all public and private primary and secondary schools abolishing corporal punishment.”
The Permanent Secretary urged the key stakeholders in the education sector to understand the implication of violence and work collectively to prevent the menace toward better education for children. He stated:
“I charge you all as advocates to ensure that the policy statement on the abolishment of corporal punishment is implemented not only in our schools but our corporate lives.”
Also, Mr Francis Elisha, Education Officer UNICEF, Kaduna field office said that the UNICEF was supporting the state government to implement the programme. Mr Elisha said that it is expected that the stakeholders, policy makers and implementors would be committed to implementing the policy.
Malam Ahmed Jaafar, Principal, Father “O” Connel Science College, Minna called on government to establish more schools to decongest existing crowded classrooms.
“There is a need for a teacher to know his pupils or students one-on-one to enable him to inculcate good morals in them.”
NAN reports that the stakeholders meeting included the state Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board, Nigeria Union of Teachers, private schools and journalists.