The Ghana Education Service (GES) has reiterated its ban on caning in primary and secondary schools.
The GES in a statement signed by the Deputy Director General, Anthony Boateng, ordered all schools to immediately adopt a new disciplinary toolkit together with alternative sanctions as measures for correcting pupils and students in schools.
“This is in view of the Positive Discipline Toolkit containing positive and constructive alternatives to correcting children was developed in 2016 as a component of the Safe Schools Resource Pack.”
The tool indicated that “apart from the physical pain corporal punishment inflicts on children, this approach also causes significant emotional damage. Some of the lasting effects of this method of disciplining school children include physical scars, emotional scars (trauma, fear, timidity etc.) and violent behaviour.”
Steps to address inappropriate student behaviour as suggested by the toolkit include setting class rules with students, encouraging them to be of good behaviour, getting students to recite statements periodically to confirm their adherence to standards of behaviour set for the classroom.
They also include explaining to the child why a particular behaviour he or she has exhibited is unacceptable.
Recommended punishments for children as suggested by the toolkit include withdrawal of responsibility or removal from a leadership position, cleaning, changing of seating position, assignment of extra tasks and writing of lines, eg. A full book of “I will never talk in class again.”