Children Need Discipline — ActionAid

oyeMs. Dorothy Konadu, Programmes Manager of ActionAid, has noted that the increasing neglect of safety nets guaranteed under global declarations and continental conventions for the protection of children, continues to lead to the high incidence of fear.

She said school children persistently suffer under corporal punishment leading to trauma, physical abuses and injuries despite the protective measures under the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter and Ghana’s Constitutional guarantees.

Ms Konadu was speaking at the “Positive Discipline” workshop for stakeholders in education at Kadjebi in the Volta Region. The workshop was part of a child development project supported by the Network of Communities in Development (NOCID), a non-governmental organisation, to introduce alternatives to punishment in schools.

The one-year project would be piloted at Dapaa, Wawaso, Dzamlome, Ampeyo, Kukurantumi, Kosamba, Akum and Menusu.

Ms. Konadu stressed that in jurisdictions where these protections and safety are enforced, children make giant strides in morality and become more assertive through dialogue, negotiations and other alternative punishments than the dehumanising ones like beating, knocking, pinching, carrying blocks, watching the sun or burning with hot objects.

She revealed that according to studies by the University of Education, Winneba and the African Union, violence against children is still pervasive in the country and Africa, which proves that children are constantly subjected to abuse in the disguised form of discipline.

Ms Konadu said child development specialists and educators around the world have attested that positive discipline is effective in teaching and instilling self-discipline in children than punishment, which inflicts pain, creates fear, kills creativity and imposes unpleasant feeling.

Mr David Sah, Programmes Coordinator of NOCID, said punishment in the school system had failed to be commensurate with the offenese usually committed by children.

He said over-reliance on the cane as an instrument of punishment according to Biblical teachings of “Spare the rod, and spoil the child” principle, could be re-directed to constructive model punishment regimes like detention during playtime, writing lines or reading a particular topic or subject for test.  Mr Jacob Alibinde Asogonnde, the Kadjebi District Chief Executive, commended Actionaid and NOCID for their proactive steps towards eliminating acts   which dehumanise children in the schools.

He suggested that this correctional model be introduced into the curriculum of training colleges of education in order to shape attitudes and behaviours of trainee teachers to ensure a regimented approach to punishment towards reforming children, who may violate societal norms and values.—GNA

 

 

 

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