The Director of Guidance and Counselling of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ivy Kumi says parents are at liberty to take on teachers involved in caning and inflicting marks on their children.
In an interview with citinews monitored by PrimeNewsGhana, Ivy Kumi stated that “since caning and all other corporal punishments are forms of abuse, parents can take it up. If a teacher beats a child and he or she suffers marks on the body, it is an abuse. The student has been battered and the parent can decide to report to the police.''
She added that ”The GES has reiterated its ban on corporal punishment which is mostly caning in primary and secondary schools ordering all schools to immediately adopt a new disciplinary toolkit together with alternative sanctions as measures for correcting pupils and students in schools''.
The toolkit indicated that “apart from the physical pain corporal punishment inflicts on children, this approach also causes significant emotional damage. Some of the lasting effects of this method of disciplining school children include physical scars, emotional scars (trauma, fear, timidity etc.) and violent behaviour.”
Director of Guidance and Counselling of the GES, Ivy Kumi emphasized that the fear of being caned, knocked on the head, pinched or asked to kneel down in school contributes to the high rate of school drop outs usually recorded.
“Corporal punishment has physical, psychological and emotional disadvantages for the child. It has kept a number of our students out of school. So in order to keep our students in school, we needed to completely ban corporal punishment in school because of its negative effects. It is not doing us any good. We need to find other ways of disciplining the Ghanaian Child because it does not encourage them to be in school.”
The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has asked its members not to go contrary to the Ghana Education Service’s (GES) directive that bans them from caning their students. According to the association, a strict adherence to the order will be in their interest and save them from any punitive measure the service is likely to take against them.
Again, the President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu who believes using corporal punishment to discipline the child is the way to go, advised teachers to be mindful of whatever sanction the GES will take against them in default.
He said, “In the new code of conduct for teachers, it is stated clearly that when a teacher beats a student, the teacher will be arraigned before the disciplinary committee depending on the gravity of the situation. Therefore, I remind my teachers that as we speak today, there is a ban on corporal punishment''.
Angel Carbonu in addition said,''If you are a Maths or English teacher, go to the school and teach, carry your books and move out so that you will not be arraigned before a court that you have battered their child so that you are saved.”