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An article by one Ahiafor Francis, a teacher, is urging the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review its decision of the cancellation of caning in the schools. He sighted how caning has shaped the life of some of us, but today this same punishment (caning) preferred by most teachers to their infractors had been scrapped. This new directive to him is a “load of baloney”.
His article under the caption “Spare the rod and compound indiscipline” reads;
There are a number of educational policies and disciplinary measures implemented by Ghana Education Service(GES) since President Akufo-Addo took office. Some of which are good, while others were haphazardly introduced.
As our political leaders and public sector heads are humans (not angels) and thus fallible, they are bound, out of eagerness or if you like overzealousness, to initiate programmes/policies that sound constructive but subtly detrimental to us, beneficiaries. As the popular saying, thus, better late than never, it is never too late to review some of these implemented policies when they’re not producing the anticipated results.
In the Ghanaian school setting, there are numerous punitive measures put in place to deal with students that deliberately or inadvertently fall foul of rules and regulations in our various schools. Of all the prescribed modes of punishment, corporal punishment (caning) stand tall, in fact it is the preferred punishment that most teachers across the country met out to infractors. This type of punishment has been with us since time immemorial, it is as old as Adam.
At home, the cane is used by parents/guardians to correct their child(ren)/ward(s) when the need be. You and I might have been corrected by means of the cane and I believe you’ll testify to the fact that it has, in a way helped shape you. Its one of the best if not the best mode of discipline, and I believe its not for the sake of it that leaders of the teaching fraternity decided to incorporate it into the modes of punishment in all public schools.
What actually motivated me to put out this write-up on flogging in school, is an alleged incident of assault that occurred at a certain basic school today. As part of amendments to the modes of discipline and school rules and regulations, corporal punishment in school was scrapped. By this decision, it implies that no teacher has the ethical right to cane even a stubborn or recalcitrant student no matter the gravity of his/her misconduct in school. The new directive is a load of baloney, thus, I don’t want to repeat it.
In service teachers will testify to the reading public that the abolition of corporal punishment has compounded indiscipline among school pupils/students. Unlike previously were pupils invariably try to go to school early before their teachers to avoid been subjected to caning, the situation is now different, as many of them betake themselves to school at a time lessons are already in session. This isn’t good. I know a lot of parents who haven’t embraced the idea of scrapping caning indiscipline pupils at school.
Ghana Education Service (GES) must as a matter of urgency review the new punitive measures in public schools and restore corporal punishment . We must not spare the rod only to spoil the child.