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General News of Thursday, 31 January 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Save yourself from trouble, don’t cane students – NAGRAT tells members

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has asked its members not to go contrary to the Ghana Education Service’s (GES) directive that bans them from caning their students.

According to the association, a strict adherence to the order will be in their interest and save them from any punitive measure the service is likely to take against them.

The GES has recently instructed all schools to immediately adopt a new disciplinary toolkit together with alternative sanctions as measures for correcting pupils and students in schools other than canning.

In what has been received with mixed reactions, many have however backed the decision accusing teachers of going to the extreme in checking the inappropriate behaviours of their students.

But President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, who believes using corporal punishment to discipline the child is the way to go, advised teachers to be mindful of whatever sanction the GES will take against them in default.

Speaking on CITI TV’s current affairs show, The Point of View, Mr. Carbonu said the association has no other option than to welcome the order, abide by it and allow posterity to judge the outcomes.

“In the new code of conduct for teachers, it is stated clearly that when a teacher beats a student, the teacher will be arraigned before the disciplinary committee depending on the gravity of the situation. Therefore, I call on my teachers that as we speak today, there is a ban on corporal punishment. If you are a Maths or English teacher, go to the school and teach, carry your books and move out so that you will not be arraigned before a court that you have battered their child so that you are saved.”

“The conclusion that teachers cane students irresponsibly to make students timid is [problematic]. Although we know there are excesses, we will not oppose the ban. We’ll welcome any disciplinary approach GES brings but the outcome will determine whether it is right or wrong”, he stressed.

Cultural ways of discipline

Reacting to assertions that most foreign countries have long ago put an end to this form of corporal punishment, the NAGRAT president rejected such comments because he thinks it was clear for Ghana to contextualise its way improving discipline.

“Disciplining a child needs to be put in a social context. It should reflect the kind of society we find ourselves in. So bringing the prescription of a western society will not necessarily be workable in our environment because we won’t get the same outcome. We should therefore find a workable way of correcting deviants in our society because it is societal, cultural and traditional specific. Anytime Western donors realise that, one way of discipline a child is by beating them, they feel a bit weird.”

“There are people that abuse by inflicting injuries on kids. However, there are also a lot of people who have been straightened up by hard-handled teachers. So can we as a people, look at our cultural realities and settings and develop a way of correcting deviant behaviour so that it is effective because the end results from the Western world is nothing admirable”, Angel Carbonu noted.

GES urges parents to deal with any teacher who beats their child

Parents whose children return from schools with signs of them being canned are at liberty to deal ruthlessly with their teachers.

Director of the Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) , Ivy Kumi, who gave this charge insists canning students without recourse to the approved alternative sanction provided by the GES amounts to assault, hence parents should do all they can to take on the teacher in question in such an instance.

Madam Kumi said ‘since caning and all other corporal punishments are forms of abuse, parents can take it up. If a teacher beats a child and he or she suffers marks on the body, it is an abuse. The student has been battered and the parent can decide to report to the police.”