UNICEF, UK collaborate to end corporal punishment in Kano schools
UNICEF and Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) plan to collaborate with the Kano State government to end corporal punishment in schools.
Rahama Farah, UNICEF’s chief of the Kano field office, gave the hint on Wednesday in Kano at a stakeholders’ workshop on ending corporal punishment 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,” he said.
Represented by Michael Banda, UNICEF education manager in the Kano office, Mr Farah noted that the workshop would focus on all forms of violence against children in schools.
“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.
He added that internet-based violence against children that sometimes occur among the children themselves through postings on the internet and bullying must also end.
In a paper he presented on the psycho-social effects of corporal punishment, Sani Lawal-Malumfashi of the Department of Sociology, Bayero University, Kano, said it could lead to aggression in children.
Mr Lawal-Malumfashi listed other effects to include social misbehaviour, emotional grating, the 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.
He noted that depriving a child of food, rest and shaming or humiliating a child are also forms of corporal punishment.
Mr Lawal-Malumfashi advised that schools’ curricula should be reviewed to take care of the rights, adding that teachers must be taught how to reinforce positive behaviour like praising a child whenever he or she does the right things.
“Corporal punishment is ineffective, inefficient and counter-productive,’’ the professor stressed.
Danga Jamiu-Yusuf of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, also presented a paper on the synthesis of evidence on the use of corporal punishment in schools.
He said corporal punishment had led to a reduction in school enrolment, led to a high dropout rate, truancy, and emotional and mental and physical abuse of children.
Mr Jamiu-Yusuf added that creating awareness among stakeholders on the implication of corporal punishment and training of teachers and administrators on positive reinforcement would serve as part of the solutions.
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