The Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has urged its members to respect the recent High Court ruling outlawing corporal punishment, saying alternative methods of disciplining students should be introduced.
By Tinotenda Munyukwi
Speaking on the sidelines of the organisation’s 36th annual conference in Harare on Tuesday, Zimta chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu said Zimbabwe had no option, but to align itself to world conventions that call for humane methods of disciplining children.
“We should look at the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, where we are saying, in terms of corporal punishment, the Zimbabwean teacher who goes to teach in South Africa should not be found on the wrong side of the law. While we may not have a curriculum, which has the same philosophy because we are different countries, there are common standards that we can agree on, such as the Sadc Protocol on Education and Training. In that interface, we can adhere to standards which can be transferred across the region,” he said.
“We should shun justifying dehumanising means of behaviour control and we must find other alternative behaviour modification methods for our learners. In society in general, it is unfortunate that we have proponents for corporal punishment today, both at school level and at community level. My view, as a teacher is that, let us stop using that approach because it brings about violence, intolerance, hate and hurt to the pupils and it is very barbaric.”
Meanwhile, Southern African Teachers’ Organisations (Sato) president, Henry Kapenda has called on the Sadc region to come up with a uniform regulatory framework for teachers that can help them adapt to the current dynamic global education systems.
“We need to work with our governments in the entire region so that, as Sadc, we enforce the regulatory frameworks that are there and that will help teachers as they do their work. We need to move with the times in the region and put frameworks which are required because we are living in a dynamic world,” he said.
“The behaviours of teachers in the region has seen some facing disciplinary issues. Therefore, it’s high time we brought back glory to our teachers because education has not at all gone to the dogs.”