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Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, China, 12 December 1997
No More Corporal Punishment for Pupils
DAR ES SALAAM (Dec. 12) XINHUA - Tanzania's 1979 National Corporal Punishment Regulations should be repealed and an alternative punishment mechanism to primary school pupils should be introduced.
The call was made by participants at a workshop which ended in Dar es Salaam Thursday, The Guardian reported today.
Participants at the workshop on Corporal Punishment in Primary Schools said there has been a grave misuse of the regulation which has affected pupils physically and psychologically.
The regulation no longer serves its intended purpose to discipline pupils, the participants said.
Instead of educating and making pupils learn from their mistakes, the regulation is widely used to hurt them.
Studies indicate that children are most commonly beaten for infractions such as coming late to school, answering incorrectly in the classroom, making noises or not wearing uniforms.
Many other children have been punished for their parents' failure to pay school fees or make donations. At times, children are beaten for no reason at all, the workshop was told.
The practices are not only against the spirit of the regulation, but also violate children's rights, the participants said.
The Ministry of Education and Culture must take immediate measures to curb the malpractices, the participants appealed.
Pending the revocation of the 1979 regulation, the participants said, efforts should be made to arouse public awareness of the problem.
They suggested the government should issue a booklet to all schools explaining the harmful effects of rampant corporal punishment.
The two-day seminar was organized by Kuleana Center for Children Rights in collaboration with the Save the Children's Fund.
It draws participants from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Community Development, Women and Children Affairs, non-governmental organizations, embassies, educational institutes and religious leaders.
Copyright 1997 Xinhua News Agency (via Comtex). All rights reserved
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