UNICEF, FCDO collaborate to end corporal punishment in Kano State schools

UNICEF, FCDO collaborate to end corporal punishment in Kano State schools

By Zubairu Idris, Kano.


UNICEF and Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), plan to collaborate with the Kano State Government to end corporal punishment in schools.


UNICEF’s Chief of Kano Field Office, Rahama Farah, gave the hint on Wednesday in Kano at a stakeholders’ workshop on ending corporal punishment in schools.


Represented by Mr Michael Banda, UNICEF’s Education Manager in the Kano office, Farah noted that the workshop would focus on all forms of violence against children in schools.


“We are mounting a communication campaign to ensure that stakeholders in all schools take forward the message that all forms of violence against children in schools must end now.


“We have heard that violence has impact on children’s wellbeing; it affects how children learn and how they perceive themselves; it also affects their development,’’ he said.


Besides, Farah said that internet-based violence against children, which sometimes occurred among the children themselves through postings on the internet, and bullying must also end.


In a paper he presented on psycho-social effects of corporal punishment, Prof. Sani Lawal-Malumfashi of the Department of Sociology, Bayero University, Kano, said that corporal punishment could lead to aggression in children.


Lawal-Malumfashi listed other effects to include social misbehaviour and emotional grating, as well as problem of coordination, concentration and poor comprehension in class.


He noted that teachers must be conversant with the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, which highlighted a number of rights that children must have.


“Right to live and be in good health; right to live as a child and not as an adult; right to be taken care of and right to be loved are bestowed on children.


“Right to have the attention of parents and teachers; right to quality food; right to protection against attack and protection against poverty are also bestowed on children in the Convention,’’ he said.


Lawal-Malumfashi noted that depriving a child of food, of rest and shaming or humiliating a child were also forms of corporal punishment.


He advised that schools’ curricula should be reviewed to take care of the children’s rights.


The professor also said that teachers must be taught how to reinforce positive behaviour like praising a child whenever he or she did the right things.


He said that a child should also be taught clean up when he or she showed up in a dirty form in school and be taught to say “sorry’’ after offending another person.


“Corporal punishment is ineffective, inefficient and counter-productive,’’ he said.


Dr Danga Jamiu-Yusuf of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, also presented a paper on synthesis of evidence on the use of corporal punishment in schools.


He said that corporal punishment had led to reduction in school enrolment, led to high dropout rate, truancy, emotional and mental and physical abuse of children.


Jamiu-Yusuf added that creating awareness in stakeholders on the implications of corporal punishment, training of teachers and administrators on positive reinforcement would serve as part of the solutions.

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