By Winnie Kabintie
Parliament is pushing for corporal punishment to be re-introduced in schools in a desperate effort to curb the rising cases of unrest and indiscipline among students.
National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip, Chris Wamalwa, said that the legislators are working on a Bill to provide the legal framework for the introduction of canning.
Wamalwa, who was speaking at St Eliza’s Girls’ Secondary School Kabichbich in West Pokot County on Tuesday, said that the only way students will be controlled is by canning as a form of punishment.
“When corporal punishment was there during our time, such cases were not there,” Wamalwa said.
The Children’s Act enacted in 2001 outlawed corporal punishment in Kenyan schools. The Act categorises corporal punishment as a form of violence against children and states that a child shall be entitled to protection from physical and psychological abuse.
Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo is among the MPs who are pushing for the re-introduction of canning.
“We must repeal the Children’s Act to ensure that discipline can get back to where it was before. If a student does something bad they must be caned. People were caned before. I am an advocate of giving teachers the power to discipline. Let us get back corporal punishment,” he said.
IS CANNING THE ANSWER TO INDISCIPLINE IN KENYAN SCHOOLS?
Corporal Punishment had been a popular form of discipline students in schools since the inception of formal education in Kenya until it was outlawed in 2001 in a gazette notice dated March 13, 2001 by then Education Minister Kalonzo Musyoka.
Corporal punishment as defined by the UN committee on the rights of the Child involves a deliberate act that inflicts pain or physical discomfort in order to punish someone.
Several studies conducted to establish the impact of corporal punishment on students behaviorhave concluded that there is no relation and concluded that canning tends to creates resentment and damage the relationship between students and teachers.
TEACHER CHARGED FOR UNLEASHING CORPORAL PUNISHMENT ON PUPIL
In Januart this year, a primary school teacher in Nairobi was found guilty of unleashing corporal punishment on a Class One pupil and injuring him in an incident that occurred four years ago at Vetlab Primary School.
Ms Catherine Karanja assaulted the minor for reporting to school late.