By Okyere Mavis, GNA
Wa, Feb 14, GNA - The Acting Upper West Regional Director of Department of Children, Madam Matilda Chireh, has applauded the Ghana Education Service (GES) for scrapping caning in Primary and Senior High schools.
She disapproved the suggestion that Ghana risked a total breakdown of discipline in schools and within the larger society should caning in schools be discontinued.
Madam Matilda who made the commendation during an interview with the Ghana News Agency called on teachers across the country to come out with innovative ways of correcting defiant children.
She said the power of the Ghanaian teachers was in their ability to impact knowledge into pupils and students and not in their ability to use the cane as corporal punishment and urged both teachers and parents to explain to children why they werecorrected with a particular type of punishment to avoid repetition.
The GES recently reiterated its call for banning caning in primary and secondary schools, and ordered schools to immediately adopt new disciplinary toolkit together with alternative sanctions as measures for correcting disobedient pupils and students.
This was in view of the Positive Discipline Toolkit containing positive and constructive alternatives to correcting children developed in 2016 as a component of the Safe Schools Resource Pack.
The tool indicated that apart from the physical pain corporal punishment inflicted on children, the approach also caused significant emotional damage and lasting debilitating effects on children that included physical scars, emotional scars (trauma, fear, timidity etc.) and violent behaviour.
Steps to address inappropriate student behaviour as suggested by the toolkit included; setting class rules with students, encouraging them to be of good behaviour, getting students to recite statements periodically to confirm their adherence to standards of behaviour set for the classroom.
They also include; explaining to the child why a particular behaviour he or she had exhibited is unacceptable.
Recommended punishments for children as suggested by the toolkit included; withdrawal of responsibility or removal from a leadership position, cleaning, changing of seating position, assignment of extra tasks and writing of lines in a full book of “I will never talk in class again”.