Corporal punishment and the dos and don'ts of discapline

For the last meeting of term, Ms Londeka Ngubane came to address the teachers. Ms Ngubane is a social worker and has a special interest in the topic of corporal punishment in schools. Ms Ngubane began the session with a discussion about the teachers own personal experiences of corporal punishment growing up and how it has affected them. There was much debate amongst the teachers as many shared contrasting experiences and views.

Next Ms Ngubane facilitated some discussion around the banning of corporal punishment in South African schools and asked the teachers what their opinions were regarding this. Again, there were varying responses and much debate. Next Ms Ngubane gave some context and information regarding the different kinds of corporal punishment and listed the disciplinary actions proposed by government as an alternative to corporal punishment regarding levels of misconduct in South African schools. Many of the teachers felt that the alternatives proposed by government did little to curb misconduct in schools, and some discussion was had regarding better solutions and alternatives to corporal punishment that would likely show better results.

One teacher proposed a reward system for good behaviour, where learners are given a chance to receive a 'prize' at the end of a specified time-frame if they comply with the code of conduct. Those learners who don't do their homework or misbehave lose their chance of 'winning the prize'. Having short specified time-frame, e.g. one day, means that learners are given another chance at 'winning the prize' the next day. This system may not work for all learners, but it did improve behaviour in this specific teachers classroom.

From all the Sizabantwana teachers, we would like to thank Ms Ngubane for her very interesting talk and for facilitating such a relevant debate for the teachers. Thank you very much!

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