THE appropriateness or otherwise of the age-old “culture” of meting out corporal punishment such as flogging of erring students in schools by teachers or senior students has been the subject of debates for ages. Majority opinions seems to be against the retention of this manner of correction or sanction in this age and time.
A video of one of such acts surfaced in the social media last week, and the manner it went viral and drew widespread condemnations across the globe said it all – it is time to stop this barbaric tradition.
In the video, fifteen students of a class in Government Science School, Eggon, Nasarawa State, were flogged with a whip by a teacher. Their offence was that they failed to resume class on the school’s resumption day.
The global scale of this outrage was evident in the fact that within two days of its publication on Facebook it had been shared 22,000 times according to the Mail Online published in the UK. Majority of the comments from around the world expressed shock, revulsion and dismay, with many parents saying they would not “take it” if their daughters were subjected to such treatment.
Indeed, many parents have refused to “take” such treatments of their children. On December 4, 2017, one Miss Rita Odilinye, a teacher in a secondary school in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, was reportedly beaten to death by the mother and family members of one of her pupils who was flogged for headiness and refusal to sweep her class.
While most teachers and education specialists of today might have grown up under the culture of corporal punishment as part of the schooling process, it has gradually become unpopular. Most parents no longer even flog their children and so they find it difficult to accept as a form of correction.
Some teachers and senior students often capitalise on corporal punishment to express their base instincts, which have little to do with correction, on difficult students.
Many students have been maimed for life or even died from such ordeals. Besides, children of highly-placed parents are hardly subjected to such punishment for fear of retribution. It is mostly children of ordinary Nigerians that are easily victimised.
We believe there are better means of achieving compliance or sanctioning erring students other than beastly treatment. These include extra hard work, suspensions, expulsions and reflecting the attitudes of students to discipline in their academic reports. If there is any need for corporal punishment it should be left to parents to handle.
The time to end corporal punishment in schools is now!