Alternatives to corporal punishment of secondary school students

Alternatives to corporal punishment of secondary school students

Majority of educational practitioners encounter disciplinary problems that are beyond their experience and expertise.  In response to this need teachers have attempted to find solutions to some of the discipline problems.  For instance some schools will apply some alternatives of punishments other than corporal punishment that are useful to the community such as a Saturday afternoon working party to cut long grass, clean ditches counseling and guidance pastoral teaching, sending for parents recommending deviant pupils to approved schools, or involving police for serious crimes (Wambura, 2010).


Griffins (1996) felt that a grave offence is best dealt with through counseling rather than corporal punishment.  Suspension should be used rarely when an offender harasses other pupilsor set a really bad example to them.  Tattum (1989) proposed different ways to deal with disruptive behavior.  Good behavior should be rewarded while the unpleasant behavior should be ignored.  Counseling by members of school and pastoral programme should also be used. The teachers play the role of friend and advisors to pupils with difficulties. In addition they are disciplinarians to those whose behavior is giving cause of concern.  Punishment for misbehavior may include detention or suspension. In case of absenteeism parents should be involved because they play a role in the pupil’s attitudes.


Gichuru (2004) suggested that teachers should think of withdrawal of certain privileges as a disciplinary strategy.  Teachers can also choose activities that are valuable to the students and use them.  Such activities include group discussion, engaging students with educational activities or reciting poems for their educational needs.


A government task force of 1975 with a title of “A Manual for Headteachers in Secondary Schools” suggested the use of reprimand particularly if the student respects the person issuing them.  Several studies agree on the fact that students do not mind teachers who are strict with them as long as they are competent.  An essay on why a pupil would not talk when a teacher is talking will cause the youngsters to reflect his/her rudeness and at the same time given him/her practice in correct writing (M.O.E., 1975).


Corporal punishment resulted in bruises, cuts and more severe injuries (broken bone knocked out teeth internal bleeding). The Children Rights (Act. No.8, 2005) further found that at times the teachers would leave children permanently disFigured, disabled or dead.


According to the sessional paper no. 1 (2005), Corporal punishment hinders learning, encourages and leads children to drop out of school. It also undermines the purpose of education as it is articulated in the paper which states that education shall be directed toward the development of the child mental and physical abilities to the fullest potentials development of respect for human rights. It also protects fundamental freedoms and preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society. This is the spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance (Sessional Paper No.1 2005).



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