‘Corporal punishment must remain banned’ 

Source: ‘Corporal punishment must remain banned’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Obert Masaraure

TEACHERS have supported the ban on corporal punishment in schools saying the practice was the root cause of violent behaviour in society.

This follows calls last month by student teachers that corporal punishment be re-introduced in schools after it was outlawed in 2017 through a High Court ruling that declared article 60(2)(c) of the Education Act unconstitutional.

Educators Union in Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said: “Corporal punishment is best meant for uncivilised societies because it sets violence as the best model and answer to life problems. It propagates and cultivates a wrong culture among students, which will be difficult to uproot from our societies.

“Violent crimes, rape, ethnicity, corruption, political violence, armed robberies and all, are mostly symptoms of a failed system of education where authoritarian measures to discipline students (like corporal punishment) take precedent over non-violent methods.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said: “Corporal punishment is not progressive as it inculcates a culture of violence in our communities. It is important to explore other means of child disciplining than canning.”

Masaraure said discipline could be enforced on learners without exposing them to violence.

In its newsletter of May 2, 2022, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), however, said corporal punishment was the only way to instil discipline and to achieve good pass rates.

“PTUZ has learnt with sadness that there are some rogue elements who wish to see schools being turned into war zones, brothels or beerhalls by their push for the removal of corporal punishment.

“However, in light of the Constitutional Court ruling in October 2015 that corporal punishment can still be administered, PTUZ’s position is that this is the way of making schools governable and instilling discipline.”