ASSESSMENT OF THE POSITION OF THE PARENTS AND TEACHERS IN THE USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
Background to the study
The term corporal punishment is commonly used by parents and teachers as well as pupils globally. (Wikipedia, 2017). It is also a popular concept in the school system. According to the Oxford Dictionary (2005), corporal punishment is the type of punishment inflicted on the body, originally including death mutilation but usually confined to flogging.
In a similar perspective symond (1990) defines corporal punishment as something that hurts, inflicted by one person in the form of bodily pain. In the view of Wilson (1982), corporal punishment is defined as techniques for developing discipline with the school system. The author concludes by proposing that because of their important role in the lives of developing children and considering the resources devoted to teacher training, teachers should be held as legally accountable for their use of corporal punishment with children as parents are.
Looking at the definitions given by the two scholars as quoted above, it could see that the term has the same meaning used with disciplined and the use of cane, not only at school but as well in the homes. The use of corporal punishment in our educational institution has been in existence for a long period. Nobody knows precisely the time is started but it can be presumed that it is started with the coming of formal education in most West Africa Countries. Fafunwa, (1974) observed that.
The history of the formal education can be traced back to the Greek period where the use of bodily pain featured nakedly in their education system, most especially used in sparton than Anthens. It was taken to be the same with the exercises their children should undergo to be tough and responsible soldiers who would be able to defend their city during war. Sparton Youths were subjected to rough beaten not only when disobeyed or misbehaviour but as a sort of training, so that they can endure any circumstances as they grow up. The Youths surrendered themselves to severe flogging and prizes were awarded to anybody who could endure the greatest lashes without uttering a word.
The practices of using corporal method of discipline also featured in Ancient Roman Schools, were severe flogging of pupils was rampart in Public Schools. In the christiandom, the use of corporal punishment is also embraced for training children. As recorded in proverbs chapter 29 verse 17, it is written ‘chastise your son and he will bring you rest and give much pleasure to your soul’ verse is of these same chapter also says ‘the rod and reproof are what give wisdoms but a boy let on the loose will be causing his mother shame’. From the foregoing, it is clear and not misleading to say the advert of corporal punishment can be linked with the period of introduction of formal education by the Christian Missionaries to most part of Africa. The is because the gospel they preached emphasized the use of can as an act of maintain discipline.
Both Christian and Muslim are in the practices of using cane. This is because the British Public Schools also encourage the formal use of cane in schools until it was banned by law in the second half of the twentieth century. Russia also embraced the use of cane as early as 1945 (Wikipedia, 2017).
It was obvious that even as at 1960’s Nigeria teachers were associated with cane to the extent that their pupils were scared at their sight even after the school periods. The threat that a naughty child would be reported to the teacher was enough to make him not pant. So during the period of time teachers dress was accompanied with having a cane by his side always and this was generally accepted as a symbol of part of the code of their dressing.
Even now, it is still believed that only the use of cane or corporal punishment could make the students learn. It is the only way by which the teacher can control his students and that is the only the fear the cane that can stop the undersirable behaviour of any child(ren). Early in 1977 when indiscipline acts among secondary students reached the highest peak, the Nigeria Military Government with the leadership of Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo they concluded that soldiers should be posted to schools, so as to maintain discipline in our institution. This action generated controversies from members of the public. The idea caused division which some were against it and some were in support.
It is quite evident that State Government in Nigeria support the use of corporal punishment. For instance, the Old Ondo State Ministry of Education (applicable to both Ekiti and ne Ondo State) expressed its support through contents of its Circular of 12th April, 1976.
The Circular read thus:
‘The Ministry feels very great concerned about the recurrent increased wave of
Lawlessness, the severity of some of the offenders committed was such that were
Offences not perpetrated by students, the cuprites if found guilty would have merited
Some years of imprisonment under the normal court procedure. To stem this wave,
Therefore the Ministry has decided to tighten disciplinary procedures as well as
Indicate penalties for serious in the future’.
Some who are not in support of the use of corporal punishment often argue that it is a good corrective measure as it can create fear in mind of the learners, thereby hindering pupils learning. It is view also that much canning will eventually push the child to a stage where he gets used to it and no longer fears the teacher since he has already know that the teacher cannot kill but cane.
It can thus inferred from the foregoing references that a lot of emphasis is placed in caning as a means of controlling the students. In this study, corporal punishment will be restricted to canning, heating flogging and whipping and not just any form of punishment which may come inform of depreciation or frustration imposed by one person or another for a wrong doing. For examples depriving a child of food for a wrong doing like telling lies or being light fingered.
Statement of the Problem
Worldwide today, act of indiscipline, youthful exuberance, delinquency and truancy among other behaviour have been generating social problems in the society. Parents (especially the working class) have less time to train their children at home. Even where non working class parents have more time to give their children home training, it has usually resulted in frictions between non equally agreeing parents on the use of corporal punishment.
The situation in schools in some cases demand the training of students with the use of codgel in order to instil fear and discipline into learners. But this situation have on occasion generated sour relationship between parents and teachers and between teacher and students.
In the early days of the introduction of Western education, particular, after the department of the Europeans Missionaries, the use of corporal punishment become fully established in our educational system. Not merely being established, corporal punishment was also adequately rooted in school administration. Although, this was not without its disadvantages and problems. For instance, pains and marks or laceration usually inflicted on students thereby causing permanent scars on their bodies.
In the contemporary world situation, socialization and civilisation have rendered the use of canes in schools to be viewed with double winds. For instance, no parent nowadays will want his/her child to be battered in school. Even the government through the Ministry of Education frowns at child molestation. This is kicked against because such a situation is considered as act of child abuse which the United States Human Rights Act from at.
But should we fold our arms and allow the society to decay morally? It should be noted that the children we raise both at home and schools build the society and the future of a nation. Beside, parents and teachers are to be partner in progress to train the young ones, the future leaders. But if there is no agreement between the two parties there is likely to be a gap in building socially responsible adults of the future. Hence, this research is set to examine the attitude of parents and teachers towards the use of corporal punishment in secondary schools in Ekiti State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study will be the assessment of the position of the parents and teachers in the use of corporal punishment. The study will ascertain the acceptability of the use of corporal punishment on students. The study will also provide a clue to ensuring a high level of understanding of corporal punishment among teachers, student and parents. The study will also provide a framework for policy formulation to educational law and school management on the use of corporal punishment.
The following research questionnaire have been generated to be answered in the study:
- What are the different types of corporal punishment?
- What is the attitude of parents towards corporal punishment?
- What is the attitude of teachers towards corporal punishment?
- What are the effects of corporal punishment on students?
Significance of the study
The study examined on the availability level, the extent of school usage of corporal punishment in teaching and learning in the public secondary schools in Ekiti State.
The result of the study presents to the government insight into the topic, from which they will be able to decide whether to reintroduce corporal punishment or cancel it totally. It will also enlighten the parents and teachers about the corporal punishment. Usage in schools.
Finally, the potential ownership of schools will find the research work valuable because it will explain the usefulness of corporal punishment as an aids to effective performance in secondary school on their students.
Scope/Delimitation of the Study
The study is basically restricted to the use of corporal punishment in secondary schools flogging, beating, whipping and caning and also clearing of bush areas within the school premises and observing some minor punishment like kneeling down, frog-jump and doing press-up.
This project will therefore try to know parents and teachers attitude towards the use of corporal punishment in secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Areas of Ekiti State.
Definition of Terms
Definition of terms refers to the meaning given to certain technical words used in the project write up or research work.
Attitude: The way that will think and feel about somebody or something. Also, it is position or posture of the body appreciate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc. Threatening attitude, a relaxed attitude.
Corporal Punishment: Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a punishment intended to cause physical pain on a person. Corporal punishment is when a parent attempts to stop an unwanted behaviour by causing the child to feel physical pains.
Punishment: An acts or way of punishing somebody, that is, making suffer for wrong doing. Also, punishment involves the deliberate infliction of suffering on a supposed or actual offender for a n offence such as a moral or legal transgress.
Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as “strokes” or “cuts”) with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender’s bare or clothed buttocks (see spanking) or hand(s) (on the palm).
Whipping: Flogging, whipping or lashing is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o’ nine tails etc.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The review of related literature was examined the following sub titled;
Conceptual development of corporal punishment
- The Concept of Attitude:
- Corporal Punishment in Schools: an Overview
- Types of Corporal Punishment
- Justification and Criticism of School Corporal Punishment
- Effects of Corporal Punishment on Students
- Recent views about corporal punishment
- View of some scholars in support of corporal punishment
- View of some scholars who are indifferent to the use of corporal punishment
- Traditional conception of corporal punishment
- Corporal punishment in the contemporary society
- Corporal punishment in the content of the school
Conceptual Development of Corporal Punishment
The use of corporal punishment which means enforcing discipline has brought a lot of controversy on whether or not it should be applied and sustained. Going through several articles in learned journals and national dailies many writers have written on the topic writers have taken a critical look at the use of corporal punishment in public schools Adesina, (2001)
The use of corporal punishment has become more or less an endemic problem that has existed for a long time, yet, people seem not to know the way to solve the problems. The use of corporal punishment begins right from the home. Parents would prefer to beat their children in order to e force discipline. This is because their belief is still associated with the biblical saying that ‘folly is bound up the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it for from him’ Boyo,Holder& Wilson (2001).
Teachers in the primary as well as secondary schools also believe in the use of corporal punishment to enforce discipline probably when they have failed in all the ways possible to maintain discipline among the children.
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