The Council of Student Teachers (COST) has urged responsible authorities to legalise corporal punishment in schools to curb juvenile delinquency.
Corporal punishment (caning) was outlawed in schools in 2017 through a High Court ruling that declared article 60(2)(c) of the Education Act unconstitutional.
COST president Walter Muzawazi on Sunday said that he agrees with Senators who recently called for the restoration of corporal punishment. Muzawazi tweeted:
For the sake of the future of our children, students and youths, corporal punishment as proposed by Senator Tambudzani Mohadi (Matabeleland South) and Senator Chief Witness Chikwaka should be legalised in schools.
The increase in youths in prisons for murder, rape, malicious damage to property, physical/domestic violence as well as theft is all because of the ban on corporal punishment.
Last week, senators, among them Chief Chikwaka and Tambudzani Mohadi spoke in favour of caning, saying laws should be aligned to the country’s cultural values and norms.
However, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure said corporal punishment may foster a culture of violence in children. He said:
There are countless ways of punishing our children other than corporal punishment, which inculcates a culture of violence in our children.
They will grow up deploying violence as a means of resolving conflicts and disputes.
Section 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture, or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.
Human rights activists argue that corporal punishment is unconstitutional.