“We Will Not Cane Them For You.” Teachers React To Calls On Reintroduction Of Corporal Punishment.

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Teachers’ Reactions Towards The Push For Reintroduction Of Corporal Punishment To Education System In Kenya.
The Kenyan government banned corporal punishment in Kenyan schools in 2001 and enacted the Children’s Act (Government of Kenya, 2001) which entitles children to protection from all forms of abuse and violence. Kenya is also a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1990) which states that discipline involving violence is unacceptable. In spite of this, the use of corporal punishment continues in Kenyan schools.
Interestingly still, the said corporal punishment is equally unlawful in schools under the Constitution 2010 (see under “Home”) which currently serves the Kenyan government. The prohibition is confirmed in the Basic Education Act 2013.
But then, what exactly is corporal punishment? Well, literally speaking it is the physical punishment, such as caning or flogging. However, it is measured in certain other parameters as well, for instance, it equally encompasses all types of physical punishment, including spanking, slapping, pinching, pulling, twisting, and hitting with objects.
In keeping with the international trends of recognizing the rights of the child, and since Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations Charter on Human Rights; and, having been criticized by the World for allowing the use of corporal punishment in schools, the same was banned in the Kenyan schools about 14 years ago. However despite this ban, newspapers, media have constantly reported cases of it.
The ban to this practice has since seen increased indiscipline in schools amongst the learning with numerous cases reported, arguebly though.
For instance there have been cases of learners from both primary and secondary get involve in:-
1: Attacking themselves (physical assault) sometimes leading to deaths over slight disagreements.
2: Assaulting  teachers while on duty, sometimes even school principals.
3: Boys breaking into girls dormitories.
4: Children attacking parents at home.
5: Openly defying any other corrective measures from teachers in school.
6: Engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior in and outside school compound.
7: Burning school structures amongst others as witnessed in recent times.
Students caught before burning their school.
With increased case of burning school structures across the country, a number of calls are in the air to have caning particularly as a form of punishment reintroduced. Recently, the church and the clergy, a section of legislatures and parents have unequivocally made passionate pleas to the government to have caning roped backed into the Kenyan schooling system terming it a necessity.
“Ii is impossible to control learners without the cane.” Said one parent.
The Calls have in equal measure met varied reactions from teachers, some supporting it while others feel it’s backward, archaic and irrelevant, long forgotten and may attract no impact. Here are a few reactions beginning with CS Education Prof. Magoha himself.

Elsewhere, a teacher thought it better to have all the teachers previously sucked due caning students reinstated and paid all dues amongst other conditions.

To another teacher, it’s upon parents to take up their roles.




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