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General News of Friday, 24 August 2007

Source: GNA

"Canning does not reform minors"- Educationist

Koforidua, Aug. 24, GNA - The Coordinator of the Early Childhood Development Project of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Kofi Nyiaye, on Thursday described as a "misnomer" a traditionally held norm that caning helps in reforming aberrant minors. Mr Nyiaye said the maxim 'spare the rod and spoil the child' was now understood as having a debilitating effect on minors who are between the ages of one and 8.

He said for most of such punishments, there was evidence to show that the punishment did "more harm than correct" the child. Giving an expose on the need for investing in early childhood care and development (ECCD) to members of the Eastern Regional Committee on ECCD in Koforidua, Mr Nyiaye said spanking of erring children was most likely to result in severe psychological and physiological pain. Mr Nyiaye said there were cases whereby children suffered vein eruptions and other forms of physical injuries when spanked. "Because this age (0-8) is critical for the cognitive, emotional and social development of the child, we need to be extra careful." He said the moulding change could not be done by use of force but rather by means of imbibing in the child values that when he committed an offence, that child would come to appreciate the consequences of his or her act and refrain from it subsequently.

Mr Nyiaye expressed worry about the duress being put on this category of children to be fluent in the English Language saying that the practice could create emotional problems for the child. He said cr=E8ches helped minors to socialize and through that learn to tolerate one another and significantly assisted in removing ethnic barriers among children, which is lacking among the adult population. Against this backdrop therefore, children should not be pressurized to be well versed in verbal recitations that they might not even understand.

Mr Nyiaye said there was information to show that socialization helped children in adjusting well in life and it as well equipped them sufficiently to avoid engaging in delinquent behaviours.

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