Mixed feelings over corporal punishment ban

Corporal punishment as portrayed by India's Dhaka Tribune

PARENTS of school-going children have mixed feelings on effecting corporal punishment at schools with some saying it must be reinstated while others say it was not necessary as children should simply be taught about good values in life.


Their comments come in the wake of a recent pronouncement in Parliament by Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Paul Mavima that corporal punishment was outlawed in terms of Zimbabwe’s new Constitution.

While some parents said children needed to be disciplined to keep them from becoming “little rascals”, others said they actually attended schools that did not mete out corporal punishment but were successful in society and well behaved. A parent who contributed to the online NewsDay discussion and identified himself as Mhofu wrote: “Our kids need to be disciplined at school to keep them from being little rascals. I for one hate these so called changes to our laws.”

However, a former Watershed College student said about corporal punishment: “I was at Watershed College from 2006 to 2011 and during that period I never got a single beating at school. We had a tight schedule and a timetable that made us all so occupied that we even had no time for back chatting at teachers or coaches or whoever it was. The point is that if the schools are to offer high class discipline principles, students should be told the value of life, by doing small things like homework. Focus should be on what the kid should know and understand.”

Educationist and founder of Zimbabwe Distance Education College Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who is also Zanu PF secretary for education, yesterday told NewsDay that corporal punishment at schools was an archaic method of punishment and should be done away with.

Ndlovu said what was needed in order to deal with wayward behaviour at schools was to have schools employ trained psychologists and counsellors to deal with ill-behaved kids.

Corporal punishment as portrayed by India's Dhaka Tribune
Corporal punishment as portrayed by India’s Dhaka Tribune

“The problem is that corporal punishment might be viewed as violating children’s rights, for example, beating a girl child on the buttocks might be viewed as wrong,” Ndlovu said.

“The person who metes out that corporal punishment might not be in the right state of mind to do so and it might end up in abuse of children. The solution is that each school should have a psychologist and counsellor to deal with bad behaving students.”

He said Zimbabwe should move with the times, adding disciplining school children was not necessarily spanking, but could be verbal counselling and even stern warnings were appropriate.


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  1. This is much brouhaha about nothing. I’ve been a teacher for many years. Corporal punishment was banned many years ago. Those who were doing it were doing so illegally. To the parents I say mwana akanetsa ini ndongotarisa ko hanti anofoira ndiye.

  2. but considering that the kids will be with teachers for the 70% of the time and 30% with parents corporal punishment is vital as long as it is not abused but I have been to school and I have seen those kids who are not controlled can be hooligans .
    when I was at St Killians I still remember that Boys from St Faith mission come to St Killians wearing ladies you uniforms . this shows that when there is no discipline at school children have wayward behavior which needs some control in the form of corporal punishment.
    people can view as the rights for children not to be punished but if we really think about rights I do not think even parents we are able to control our kids. If we go to night clubs the most patron are school going kids because of these rights .
    this country will be not managed if we talk about these rights .

  3. Veduwe, vana ngavarohwe a bit kana vanetsa to instil discipline. Vana vakasiyana–some do very well without such discipline and others do well with such discipline. Saka l think this is very important to re-consider

  4. shamhu inodzora wana munzira ini ndaiwe pa St Faith that’s true misikanzwa nekunetsa chaiko aiwe mahara nekuti takange tisingarihwi asi pakatanga kudzorwa wana neshamhu tarisai kana pass rate yacho @ mukanya that true wat u a saying I completed ma As 1994

  5. Lol..you jus made the teaching proffession soooo much easier..they will just look at our kids as they smoke mbanje and urinate in classrooms…welcome to the South African style of education….guns and murder knocking and you jus openned the door

  6. corporal punishment should not be applied kana mwana asingazivi. anoda kudzidziswa, kana kuudza mubereki zvakanaka tobatsirana. Like mwana wangu ndotoona moto kumumanikidza kuenda kuchikoro coz anorohwa zuva nezuva namadam Mutambasere nepuranga reboard paShakashe school, Masvingo.

  7. This is long overdue. As a parent who grew up under the old system, we knew in our schools of teachers that were extremely short-tempered, violent and perhaps even emotionally or mentally unstable. These teachers would beat up students and mete out disportionate violence for even flimsy mistakes. It was a daily terror if you were unlucky enough to have one of these teachers. So I said no, my children will never be subjected to that terror. Some think that beating/violence is the only way to punish or duscipline, but that’s not the truth. Detention during break times for instance is effective form of discipline. Beating children is not the only way. Let’s protect children from potential abusers.

  8. Which planet does Sikhanyiso Ndlovu reside in, when he speaks of schools employing counsellors and psychologists, is he not aware that there are schools (and they are many) that can not afford to build decent safe structures for pupils to learn under let alone basic stationery? A close relationship is needed between the teacher and parent to monitor and guide pupils. Leave the beating to the parents, the teacher’s job is to teach the child right from wrong complimented with the parent’s input as well.

  9. Ban it forthwith- I remember 2 years ago when my six year old daughter doing Grade one at a school in Greendale-Harare refused to got to school on the first day of 2nd Term citing the bitings from the and I felt hot all over the body!! A teacher doing that to my daughter!! I went to the school and discussed the matter with the Head teacher who called the teacher in question and we solved it amicably and now my daughter has greatly improved her grades to top 5 in her class. Just imagine dai ndakangoti haiwawo rega teacher ape discpilne mwana.
    Its a barbaric way of instilling discipline and should be banned.

  10. Asi mungarova dofo ndozvinoita kuti rigone here, shud b banned mutemo uyu. Mamwe ma teachers anouya ne frustration dzavo vopedzera pa vana ve varidzi, so inini hab
    ngu tht type of punishment should be banned

  11. To hell with corporal punishment- it nearly cost me my daughter’s intelligence when an overzealous Grade 1 teacher at a school in Greendale beat her up for being slow in coming up with answers and she started to hate going to school until I had to talk to her and she explained the beatings she has to endure at school-imagine a 6 year old girl.

    I say this archaic tactic should be banned as it serves no purpose as far as I am concerned.

  12. I was born and bred in Mhangura, went to Mhangura primary and then Mhangura Secondary School. Guys our teachers were serious ie (primary) Mr Darare, Mr Gauchi, Mr Katehwe, the late Mr Matemba and Mr Gutsa ; (Secondary) Mr Dzumamunda, Mr Muzhuzha, the late Mr Kanda, Nyanhongo and Mr Muringai. Vairova vanhu ava veduwe. But today, yes today I am a PhD holder, published 12 books. Thank you so much for those beatings.

    • @Pee so you think you would not have obtained the PhD without the beatings? Did they beat you all the way to your PhD? Did you do better in the classes where you were being beaten or your grades were consistent? You can’t use your phd as a defense for corporal punishment. That’s a dumb argument for a PHD holder. In the west were you probably are they don’t have corporal punishment but they have many more PhDs and Nobel Prize winners.

  13. Umwe teacher akadzokera mwana wechikoro necheya akabva Afirapo.vabereki vemwana vakamuti viga.

  14. pachinyaradza paiva namashanyare uyo akakonzeresa rufu rwemwana wekwavhovha naiko kuda kurova vana pachikoro for those vanoiziva please comment

  15. Vana ini ndinoti ngavakakwe , kurova chaiko , where neccessary cz ndiyo imwe language wc can teach, bt abuse its not tolerated woo

  16. kuenda kuchikoro kunorwadza nekuti mwana anenge asingaite zvaanoda ikoko saka panotodiwa kakurohwa kuti zvifambe.zvimwe zvinhu mwana anototeerera nekutya kurohwa kusvika akuziva ega kuti zvakaipa.

  17. Mr chadehumbe,chileshe,gara,bhenza,regua,mapfumo were very ruthless teachers & headmasters in the late 80’s at frank johnson primary then came mr &mrs chibanda(cyborg)&the head mr muzvondiwa at harare high late 90s.magaro nemaoko angu akaona moto nevanhu ivava but ndanga ndisiri dofo.hudofo haurovese asi misikanzwa

  18. vana ngavarowe chokwadi. hakuna teacher anongorova mwana pasina zvaaita. imagine mwana wako akangosiiwa akadaro achiita hubenzi ,zvinokuitira here asi kumba kwako unomurova

  19. Honestly,”SPARE THE ROD & SPOIL THE CHILD.” Some kids can be a very big problem especially if they know nothing will happen to them. We send children to school for academic reasons & morality. Dzimwe nguva vana vanoita misikanzwa yakaipisisa.
    I personally know of a guy who regrets failing everything at school because he was just stubborn & no one cared. Corporal punishment is very necessary at school. Teachers are parents too.Let’s give them total control of our children at school.

  20. i personally believe that corporal punishment is necessary in schools as it instills discipline in children. anorohwa ndiye ane misikanzwi not asina.

  21. In my experience as a student and later a teacher the same kids seem to be caned over and over again, indicating that the caining hardens them and emboldens a feeling of being famously naughty among other students. The majority of the students tow the line for fear of being given a hiding by the teachers, not because they want to conform. Deep down some of them will be defiant but scared of the cane.
    The solution is to inculcate a value system to young pupils that builds a responsible and outward looking young person. Caning instead breeds more malcontents in a school.

  22. well,to start with,teachers are not trained wrestling at colleges and universities. Most education theorists concur that corporal punishment is necesarry but should be carried in a fatherly -motherly manner. I. feel that disregarding it and adopting the western style will have an adverse effect on our children. Proponents of outlawing corporal punishment are nt educationists or anywhere near. They should come to classes for a term that is if they dont slice up the children for various forms of delict. Go today to most ZRP schools.l tell U this is rampant. lmagine a minister saying $300,00 is enough for a qualified tr. l think it goes to show one’s mental derangement or the irrational order of one’s mental faculties. kuti iye auye kuhoitambira iyoyo just for 2month tikasanzwa kuti akaita revolt. lets preach things which are practically possible of performance. not just blurting out gibberish

  23. honestly Zimbabwe is going to the dogs…. You have ministers and former ministers banning corporal punishment.
    i wish you people in zim who are talking to psychologists etc would come here in the USA where ALL of those specialist you are talking about are in the schools and tell me what difference that will make.
    at the rate yamurikuenda nayo very soon you will be legalising homosexuality because all these laws you are making are the same laws that were passed here in the western world leading to homos marrying each other and kids shooting others and teachers at schools.\

    at this rate you might as well legalise homosexuality since you are mirroring western laws albiet at a slower rate.

    we as africans have had our own value system and we should keep it

  24. maingu akapopotera ticha.ticha aingondisaya vamwe vachirohwa.nhasi vamwe vangu ave madhokotera.INI ndirirombe.dai zvaibvira upenyu ndatangazve.ndimbonorohwawo naticha.zvimwe ndingavewo munhu pavanhu.

  25. zimbabwe is mirroring western culture you might as well legalise gays and gay marriages since you are taking on western trends because this is where all of this started.
    sikaniso ndlovu for you of info every school here in the USA has dedicated therapists and all you are talking about and that has not helped to stop violence muzvikoro zvekuno.

    we have our own value systems in africa and mirroring western ones spells disaster. muchamama chete with this law. truency will spiral out of control in your schools and your kids will shoot each other beat up teachers. history repeats itself always.

    well done for screwing up a great education system. now just finish the job and make gay marriages and homosexuality legal coz that is where zim is headed anyway

  26. mateachers musarove mastudents enyu.Regai vana vaite zvavanoda.Mastudents ndoanotofanira kukurovai cozz….kkkk hamuna ;hamuna Mari futi.

  27. When I was in grade seven I had a teacher who used to like beating us up, my grades were very low and I hated school. Fortunately he was transferred and with the new teacher who wasn’t cruel, my grades improved greatly and I manged to do very well in my exams. Corporal punishment should be banned, it’s a cruel way of teaching.

  28. Cooporal punishment is the best for the African environment as counselling and psychiatrists are nonsensical in our culture and wont get anything done

  29. Honestly if each and everyone of you parents that say corporal punishment must go could be so reasonable enough to consider how far that corporal punishment culture has created so many educated people you wouldn’t be so dump to barn it. At home you fail to teach your children respect because you would say i want my kid to be like Justin who quite school at the age of 12 because its his right. You as a parent you must know what’s best for your spoiled kid that doesn’t even show respect to you, what future will that kid have without respect that was influenced by that so called corporal punishment.

  30. Dear Pupils and former pupils and parents.
    I am a teacher and have been a teacher for the past 15 years. raising a child is the most difficult thing because we never get enuf experience.Have I ever given a student coporal pun? Yes at times. Why ? Thse were the circumstances.;
    1. Some boys jumped to go to the girls hostel and decided to be intimate.I had two options, to send them home and deny them education or to cane them and send them back into the classroom and hope they reform. I chose the later and all of them managed to pass their O levels well.
    2. Again I had pupils who decided to smoke mbanje and drink some beers. Canned them and sent them back. They did well.
    3.I hardly cane a student for poor grades, thats just a reflection of poor teaching.
    So we sit and wonder, if canning is banned , how then shall we handle some serious cases. Would you rather we expell the child or we cane him AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE?

  31. I suggest: Students should not be beaten for failing but for other forms of mischief DONT spare the rod!!!!! Otherwise this is a recipe for disater, ….trs will jst watch as yo kids do as they wish, mheno zvenyu kukara chirungu, y not look East ..kkkkki! (kuseka nhamo serugare)

  32. I personally dont believe in making life uncomfortable for children however, there is need for corporal punishment because doing away with it makes children wild. Let us not forget that we are not whites and our lifesyles are very different. Even our schools are different. They have 10 children in their classes whilst we have 50+.

  33. ukaona iri mubereki usingade kuty mwana wako arangwe it shows kuty haunei naye.. Handisaty ndaona teacher anorovera vana kukonewa,ukaona mwana orohwa smthng wrong…. Vabereki ngwarai mhani….

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