- May 29, 2019
- Posted by: p mulee
A group of religious leaders is pushing for reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya says the outlawed form of punishment will help deal with rising indiscipline. The council’s secretary general Kamau Kuria Tuesday said they were in talks with the Government over the issue.
Dr Kuria spoke in Nairobi during the conference on prevention of violence against children. The conference ends today. The meeting was arranged by a consortium of organisations, including World Vision and Arigatou International.”We would like to see some form of corporal punishment reintroduced,” Kuria told delegates at the event dubbed Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence.
He said it might not be a popular statement but necessary because levels of indiscipline among young people has gone out of control.
Kuria added: “It might not be what most of you want to hear, but it is the truth, and we are discussing with Government.”The religious council’s stand was, however, dismissed almost immediately. Ibrahim Lethome of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims argued that while punishment for correction was necessary, there were many ways to do it without necessarily using corporal punishment.
Appealing to the heart and emotions would be a better way of dealing with children rather than corporal punishment, he said, adding: “Caning has the potential of making children rebellious.”Elias Opongo of Hekima Institute of Peace Studies, called for creativity in how punishment is administered.
Dr Opongo said: “My uncle devised a unique way of punishment where the sons would be grounded in a dark room. They feared it more than corporal punishment.”Corporal punishment was banned in Kenya in 2001, in keeping with the international trends of recognising the rights of the child. Despite the ban, some teachers have been accused of perpetuating the practice.
Violence against children has continued in many forms. Statistics show that six in 10 children are punished by physical means.
At the same time, children aged two to four years experience violent discipline by caregivers on regular basis.