CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
THE Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) has opposed calls to re-introduce corporal punishment in schools because it is a disrespectful and humiliating form of retribution to children.
The Zambia National Action and Quality Education in Zambia has called for the re-introduction of corporal punishment in public and private schools as a means of instilling discipline among learners.
ZNAQE executive director Aaron Chansa said untold indiscipline has crept into Zambian schools from the time corporal punishment was abolished in schools in 2004.
But MNCRD executive director Henry Kabwe said corporal punishment is not the best solution for curbing indiscipline among children because it can lower their self-esteem.
Mr Kabwe said in an interview recently that there is need to promote other ways of instilling discipline among learners and not corporal punishment.
“Corporal punishment or simply put violence is not the best way to discipline children, corporal punishment humiliates and does not add value to their well-being.
“I am sure corporal punishment was abolished because people who were effecting it did not do it correctly,” Mr Kabwe said.
He proposed naming and shaming indiscipline learners as one of the ways of encouraging them to behave in a proper manner unlike corporal punishment.
“Learners who misbehave should be made to dig pits of their height or water a garden and not subjecting them to corporal punishment lest you injure them,” Mr Kabwe said.
On Mr Chansa’s biblical argument that abolishing corporal punishment is tantamount to “sparing the rod and spoiling the child”, Mr Kabwe said God does not discipline his children in a violent manner.
And in a separate interview, Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia spokesperson Kabika Kakunta said corporal punishment may not be the best answer to addressing indiscipline among 21st century learners.
Mr Kakunta said corporal punishment is an archaic form of punishment.
“Undisciplined learners can be suspended or expelled because if our members [teachers] start beating pupils they [teachers] risk injuring or killing children and ending up in jail,” he said.