These are the alternatives to corporal punishment

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Oct 17, 2018

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Durban - While a recommendation by a department of education district manager calling for the suspension of a Durban teacher who was caught on camera metering corporal punishment is being processed - the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) want him suspended.

Vika Ngcobo, Cosas provincial secretary, said what applied to pupils who are violent towards teachers should also be applied to teachers who hit pupils.

According to Childline’s website corporal punishment damaged children’s development. “Children who are sad, confused anxious or angry cannot concentrate on the work or play they need for developing their potential. Research shows that children who are disciplined at home in alternative ways, without being hurt, do better at school than others whose parents use physical punishment,” it said.

Here are some alternatives to corporal punishment according to childline:

  • Give praise If you praise children when they obey or do things well, this encourages them to model their behavior on positive reinforcements. Praise also encourages them to learn self-discipline.
  • ‘Restorative justice’ involves both ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ in a meeting aimed at planning a way to repair any harm caused. In addition, some set plans to prevent future misbehavior by all concerned. These techniques have been successfully used by school governing bodies seeking alternative punishments in the school system in South Africa.
  • Use guidance and counseling methods. Guidance and counseling methods can be used more effectively with older children. In these situations, call on a relative if needs be, one with whom a child has a special relationship or an older person in the family or community for whom the child really has respect. Ask this person to discuss the negative effects on your child’s behavior with your child, and to provide guidance on what the expectations of the child are.

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