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UNICEF, Others Task Head Teachers On Corporal Punishment Alternatives

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Benue SUBEB Enrollment Desk Officer, Emmanuella Akese, interacting with pupils during the meeting with HTs on Corporal Punishment

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) have charged to discipline students with caution and shun abusive acts against them.

Dr Clement Dyege, a representative of the State Ministry of Education gave this caution Monday in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State during a sensitization meeting organized by UNICEF in conjunction with GPE and FME for Head Teachers on Ending Corporal Punishment.

Dr Dyege stated that Child Rights Act, Article Il prohibits Corporal Punishment in School. According to the Act, Every Child is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and that no child shall be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ but it does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in school.’ He said the law further stipulates that if corporal punishment must be effected, it must be in the presence of the school Head or vice and not any Teacher and the punishment must be recorded in the log book for record purposes.

While making a review of the meeting on the implementation of the second phase of UNICEF, GPE and FME supported Back to School Campaign in Benue State, the Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board( SUBEB), Comrade Joseph Utse represented by Permanent Member 1 of the Board, Hon. Mike Kusah, said ending Corporal Punishment is a policy matter which must be considered by relevant education stakeholders.

Utse who asserted that inhuman treatment of learners and bullying have to be abolished charged Head Teachers to seek alternative ways of disciplining erring learners to avoid drop out and low enrollment rates in schools.

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Also speaking, Director of Social Mobilization, Mr Emmanuel Ejeh, represented by the Enrollment Drive Campaign Desk officer SUBEB, Emmanuella Akese while sensitizing Head Teachers and Learners on the dangers of Corporal Punishment and bullying at LGEA Central School Katsina Ala said bullying and Corporal Punishment in school are abusive acts which are at par with education as such can cause poor academic performance and increased drop out rates in schools.

The information officer, Ministry Of Education, Mrs Mngohol Ageda while counseling the students and pupils on ending bullying frowned at the rising cases of drop out rates in school as a result of bullying and Corporal Punishment. She charged the perpetrators of the act to desist from such offences.

The Education Secretary, Katsina Ala, Mr Jonathan Chagba, and her Logo counterpart Mrs Terseer Amon urged Teachers to use guidance and counseling and choose appropriate punishment methods in correcting Learners. This they believe, would be more realistic and help the child take the right steps.

Responding on behalf of The Head Teachers, Mr Aye Michael and Nyikwagh Michael all appreciated UNICEF, GPE and FME for the sensitization meeting. They pledged to put all they were taught to practice to make basic education more attractive to the child.

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