A young boy, Emmanuel Amidu, a JSS2 student was flogged by his Mathematics teacher and he ended up dead!
This sad and heart-wrenching news just broke, and though some affirm that the cane is not the way forward for disciplining, I am alarmed at the many of us who think the answer is arming schools with medical records.
I do agree that it is important for schools to know the medical history and conditions of their students, but certainly, this is not the point. Or is it?
How many children need to suffer and die before we concede that this is unacceptable: beating the children in our care?
Honestly, it is time to draw the line.
Adults unable to control their anger should not be working with children.
Several years ago when I first started calling for changes in the way we discipline children, especially in schools I was told that my Montessori ways were too ‘oyinbo’!
So many scriptures and abuses were thrown at me. Some even asked: ‘Which child beating kill?’
Unfortunately, the truth is now coming out!
We have now started counting and honestly, I would have preferred we did not have any incidences to count.
It doesn’t matter how much you disagree with the viewpoint that the cane is not and should not be one of our tools for disciplining the child.
What matters is that we accept the following facts:
- The use of the cane can lead to death. Children are dying at the hands of teachers and it is now being documented.
- Flogging children is illegal in most states of Nigeria that have adapted and legislated the Child Rights Law of 2007. LAGOS State did this in 2015.
We may think that we have the right to beat children, but please remember that children have rights too and these rights are protected by the laws of the land!
- There are other ways to discipline children that work. Lagos state has taken time out to get our parents and teachers learning about safety and safeguarding. We all need to key into this.
- Flogging children is physical abuse, let’s call a spade a spade. Abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual etc. Abuse is abuse. We need to stop abusing the children in our care.
- Could the children who had not done their homework in the case of Emmanuel, not have been asked to stay behind for detention and get it done then? This is just one of the many other ways to get things done rather than using the cane.
I am sure you can think of many others too. Can you not?
We honestly need to stop using the cane.
Our children are dying unlawfully because as adults, we do not recognize our roles are not to be controllers, but instead, our roles are to be the protectors, encouragers and role models for the future generations.