18, February 2023
Cameroon’s Minister of Secondary Education, Prof Pauline Nalova Lyonga, has announced a ban on corporal punishment in schools following a recent incident where a teacher was caught on video flogging students.
Despite being illegal, corporal punishment is still widespread in some schools, with more than 50% of children from state schools reporting that they have received such punishment.
Flogging is one of the most common forms of punishment given to students, often for minor errors, which has led many children to abandon school. Other forms of punishment in schools include forcing students to stand in various positions for extended periods or publicly flogging them, an act that the Minister of Secondary Education has condemned.
The minister insists that any teacher who wants to sanction a student in school must do so in strict compliance with the terms of article V of the 1998 law of the country, which prescribes the respect of the child’s dignity.
Schools caught inflicting pain on students will be severely sanctioned, and any teacher caught punishing a student will also face serious consequences.
The decision to ban corporal punishment in schools is a positive step towards creating a safe and positive learning environment for all students. It is essential that the government and school authorities ensure that the ban is enforced, and alternative measures are taken to maintain discipline while respecting the rights and dignity of the children.