Feb 17, 2009 News
Help and Shelter yesterday said that it was dismayed by the reports of physical and psychological abuse suffered by students at the Enmore Primary School.
Kaieteur News first reported that students of the school have been suffering abuse at the hands of a certain male teacher of the school.
Help and Shelter, a firm advocate against all forms of violence, whether physical, psychological or sexual, said the reports at the school indicate tolerance towards the use of violence at the school and demonstrate the escalation that comes from the lack of a policy of zero-tolerance for violence.
The body said the news reports indicate that parents are also concerned about the use of violence in the school.
In its submission on the Draft Education Bill in relation to the issue of corporal punishment, Help and Shelter said, “The rising levels of violence in our society are indicative of the failure of people to resolve conflicts, and anti-social behaviour at every level.
“The physical abuse of children that masquerades as corporal punishment in our schools, homes and institutions is an important contributing factor, as it teaches from a very young age that violence is an acceptable way to solve or correct problems, and that people in authority have the right to impose their will or rules on those in their care through the use of violence.”
According to the organization, violence is often the result of an imbalance in power in relationships, with the stronger person (e.g. a teacher) exercising power and control over the weaker one (e.g. a child) through threats to use or the actual use of violence.
Yet, Help and Shelter stated, the Ministry of Education, through its prescribed disciplinary measures, gives schools the right to use physical violence or the threat of it against the very children that they are supposed to educate.
The body reiterated the ineffectiveness and danger of the ministry’s policy of using corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure in schools, and called for a clear policy on alternatives and for mechanisms to be put in place to implement these.
A survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and Red Thread reported that corporal punishment is administered more often by teachers in the classroom than by head teachers, in accordance with the prescribed procedures.
The recent reports would indicate that, seven years later, violation of the rules is still occurring, Help and Shelter stated.
The organisation said it stands ready to assist with any counselling services that affected students and their families may wish to access, and to work with the school and parents to change the attitudes towards using violence as a means of discipline.
Was Jagdeo honest when he made those promises?
Sep 21, 2023– Warriors face Tallawahs Friday with last spot in finals up for grabs Kaieteur Sports – Man-of-the-match Chadwick Walton cracked an unbeaten 80 as Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR)...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.