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Enugu parents frown on corporal punishment in schools

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A representative sample of Enugu parents with children in primary and secondary schools called on school officials to drop corporal punishment and instead adopt counseling while correcting stray students.

Parents, who spoke to the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday, said corporal punishment was outdated and not the best way to correct stray children.

Mr. Sam Udekwe, parent and vice-chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ, Enugu State Council, said corporal punishment was no longer acceptable to society.

“What is happening in schools is an extension of what is happening at home.

“The human beings management strategy has to be implemented and it should start at home.

“I am opposed to corporal punishment because it is now outdated due to our modern way of life,” he said.

Udekwe called for the use of guidance and counseling in schools to help strengthen student well-being.

Mr. Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, another parent and former international boxer, said children need to be guided well and taught the truth about life.

According to him, the negative behavior of children would be better reduced by telling them the truth about life.

“I don’t believe in harsh punishment for them, but I believe in the type of training and education in democracy.

“Most of the time, children can be wrongly beaten and inflicting physical harm on a child amounts to hatred on the part of the teacher, thus leaving a void between the teacher and the learner.

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“Once there is hatred, the relationship between teacher and learner will be compromised,” he said.

Norbert Okolie, a parent and public relations manager for Rangers FC (PRO), said corporal punishment helped to some extent but not the final solution.

He said parents have a lot of responsibility around the home to ensure children are properly guided from the start of their lives.

“Without a doubt, introducing corporal punishment will help, but a lot of things need to be done by parents, rather than chasing money.

“Good home-based training will go a long way in ensuring that our children imbue the good character of the home before being refined by school,” he said.

Ms Maureen Ikpeama, a civil servant, said the board was what the modern age demanded and had to be used correctly, given the age of the learners.

“Some students or pupils may not even understand the reason they are subjected to corporal punishment because they cannot properly interpret their misconduct.

“In addition, the teacher should be a role model that they expect from their wards, because many of them are now learning from what they see,” she urged.

Ms. Chinwe Ukaejiofor, Principal of St. Bartholomew High School, Asata, Enugu, said there were many ways to deal with stray learners and the punishment to be given depending on the severity of the offense committed.

Ukaejiofor said some inappropriate behavior needs to be traced back to the student’s home to determine the cause.

“Despite the existence of other forms of correction, we cannot eliminate corporal punishment because it is the only language some students understand.

The head of the school’s kindergarten, Ms Evelyn Obiora, said a child at kindergarten level needs close supervision.

According to her, some of the bad behaviors in children required quick discipline in order to bring them under control and this is where corporal punishment comes in.

“Corporal punishment is not meant to be used all the time because it scares children away,” she noted.

Obiora pointed out that developing a cordial relationship with children makes it easy to spot bothersome behavior on their part.

The principal of the Richard Kindergarten and Primary School, Asata, Ms. Maureen Ude, said the best way was to be friendly with the learners.

“We don’t use corporal punishment these days because a child can open up to you when they are relaxed.

“As far as adolescents are concerned, we advise them on the right things to do, because resorting to corporal punishment can drive them crazy,” Ude noted.

(NOPE)

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