The Commissioner for Education in Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, has said that the state government has put a stop to all forms of corporal punishment in its public schools.
Adefisayo said this at a scientific conference of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba in Lagos State in a programme themed: “Corporal Punishment in the Modern African Setting”, with the Sub-theme: “Examining the Scientific Evidence behind Corporal Punishment”. She was the Special Guest of Honour at the event.
The Commissioner, who was represented by Mrs Adumasi Bosede, a Director in the Ministry, defined Corporal Punishment as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pains or discomfort, however, light on the receiver.” She decried the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools and homes, as the effects in most cases result in negative outcomes.
to her, there are instances where corporal punishment meted out to students has resulted in the death of the child or student involved. The Trumpet Gathered
“There had been occasions whereby corporal punishment given by a teacher to a child either in form of flogging or bullying had eventually led to the death of the child, thereby implicating the teacher.
“To avert such ugly incidents, including other negative effects of corporal punishment; there is a policy in Lagos State prohibiting teachers from inflicting corporal punishment on students and pupils in schools.
“Meanwhile, there are other alternative ways to discipline and correct children, which are being adopted in the schools,” she said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ARD, Dr Samuel Aladejare, said that there was the need to urgently address the issue, to put an end to all forms of corporal punishment in society.
Aladejare described corporal punishment as one of the burning issues in society now, as it was prevalent in schools, homes, and even workplaces.
“The scientific conference is one of the programmes used by the association to identify, discuss and proffer solutions to burning issues in the society through the help of seasoned experts and professionals in the medical field.
“So, I am convinced that the invited guests, experts, academics, and professionals here today will adequately deliberate on the topics,” Aladejare said.
Dr Tolulope Bella-Awusah, Head of Department, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCH, Ibadan, said that corporal punishment was not good for the mental health and brain functioning of a child.
Bella-Awusah, also a guest speaker at the event, said that what children needed was discipline and not punishment. She listed corporal punishment to include: slapping, spanking, bullying, flogging, striking, and pinching.
According to her, in society corporal punishment is used to train, discipline, and correct misbehaviour among children.
“Scientifically, using corporal punishment such as flogging or beating is not an effective way to correct children, because it makes them to be aggressive, drug abusers, or stubborn in life. So, there is no need to beat children with the intention to correct them because its effects will manifest later in their lives,” she said.
A consultant psychiatrist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr Olugbenga Owoeye, said that deprivation of social privilege measures could be used to correct and discipline children rather than corporal punishment.
According to him, parents, teachers, and caregivers can deprive the child of certain privileges if the child fails to do what is expected of him or her.
On his part, the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Dr Babatunde Salako, said that corporal punishment had become a societal norm, which would be difficult to stop.
“The Nigerian society uses corporal punishment to correct bad behaviours in children.
“The truth is that there are some bad behaviours, which if you do not apply corporal punishment, such a child may not stop nor change from his or her bad habits.
“No matter what you do, people will still lock up their children and beat them if they do bad things. So, there is the need for more scientific evidence why corporal punishment must be stopped,” Salako said.
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