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Why Corporal Punishment Won’t Work in Kenyan Schools

Edwine Agesa

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Photo: A teacher holding a cane

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha earlier last week suggested that schools should bring back corporal punishment. There was uproar from both parents and politicians with differing opinions on the matter.

This form of punishment, however, would not work in the current school system and there’s a couple of reasont to support this.

The current learner is way different compared to those who experienced corporal punishment. This learner has so many questions and has access to more information.

This will bring a conflict of interest that might be sorted out best through dialogue. The older generation was never taught to answer back, or ask questions. That is one of the reasons bringing back corporal punishment might not work.

Current learners are also facing a lot of challenges compared to those before them. Depression cases are on the rise and acting out as we have seen in schools might be a way to express themselves.

This is where schools must invest in guidance and counseling. Most schools have these departments but they are rarely equiped with the right professionals. Corporal punishment as a substitute for this will only make matters worse.

The law also clearly states that corporal punishment is a violation of human rights. This led to the ban on the punishment in 2001. Some schools still went ahead with it and it led to injury and sometimes death of learners.

With so many Non-profit organizations defending education rights, corporal punishment will not be brought back as an option to bringing back sanity in schools.

Learners were on a long break last year after the pandemic and needed time to adjust to their former school lives. They need guidance and not some rushed up barbaric solution.

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