85% Of Nigerian Children Suffer Violent Discipline In Schools – UNICEF

85% Of Nigerian Children Suffer Violent Discipline In Schools – UNICEF

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu  

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has disclosed that 85 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of 1 and 14 experience violent discipline in schools, with nearly 1 in 3 children experiencing severe physical punishment.

 

UNICEF Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, revealed  this in Abuja on Tuesday, at a two-day National Awareness Creation Meeting on Ending Corporal Punishment in schools, organised by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, in collaboration with  UNICEF. 

Panday-Soobrayan stated that the discussion about corporal punishment in schools was “difficult and heart-breaking,” adding  that the presence of participants at the meeting was a testament to Nigeria’s determination to uphold every child’s right to safety, well-being and quality, inclusive education.

She added that the persistence of these practices contradicts Nigeria’s National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools, that commits to zero-tolerance to any threat to the security of life and property in schools. 

Panday-Soobrayan also noted that the practice “stalling Nigeria’s progress toward SDG 3 to ensure good health and well-being, SDG 4 on equitable andinclusive quality education and target 16.2 (to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children).”She noted that the impact of corporal punishment on children is devastating as children are left with both physical and psychological wounds. 

Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, endorsed the action plan and roadmap for ending corporal punishment in schools in line with the Child’s Rights Act passed into law in 2003, protecting children’s right to a life free of violence. 

Adamu noted that globally, there is evidence indicating that corporal punishment in schools have impacted negatively on attendance and learning and outcomes.

Earlier, the Registrar of TRCN, Prof Josiah Ajiboye, Globally, there is a paradigm shift from corporal punishment in schools because of its effect on pupils, adding that practice has been proven to be ineffective, dangerous and an unacceptable method of controlling and maintaining behavior and discipline. 

Ajiboye who stated that  the meeting was organised to share and discuss evidence on the negative impact of corporal punishment on children and learning outcomes, added that it also aimed at developing an action plan on road map for ending corporal punishment in schools with the aim of substantially and systematically reduce dropout rates and increase transition and completion of children in schools.

He spoke of the need for to be made to educate parents and teachers on the implication of corporal punishment as well as the alternatives that are available to them, noting that good school discipline depends not only on non-violent responses to poor student behavior, but on skilled and properly trained teachers. 


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Saadhna Panday-SoobrayanUNICEF Chief of Education