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Sierra: a Ban on Corporal Punishment in Schools

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@Eric Kawa

Sierra Leone

This initiative is lauded by many, but a great concern for teachers.

Umaru Deen Kamara is aTeacher at Fattah Rahman Municipal Primary School.

"I want to ask the government to list the sets of Punishment deemed appropriate for the children. We don't know what type of Punishment to carry out. You can ask them to stand in a place for a longer time, they may kneel down or put up their hands. But we don't have the specific Punishments stated."

How can teachers then handle punishment without beating? According to Mrs. Remie Siati, Headteacher at Mereweather Preparatory School, "when you use the stick, the children are afraid to come to school, so there are other methods by letting them kneel down, stand up or not go out during play time."

According to a report by Strengthening Accountability Building Inclusion (SABI), 89% of students report having been flogged in school; and a Frequency of about 56% reporting been Flogged once a week is eminent.

In a press release, the Ministry said a comprehensive policy and strategy that includes training and support for teachers in positive discipline will be implemented.

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