Disciplinary Networks in Secondary Schools: Policy dimensions and children’s rights in Tanzania
The Tanzania Education Act number 25 of 1978 gave powers to the Minister of Education to develop policies that enable management of discipline in schools. The legalized use of corporal punishment in managing student’s disciplinary problems emerged from the corporal punishments regulations of 1979 under section 60 of the Education Act. This regulation was moderated in 2000 to enable oversight, but still retained corporal punishment as a method of dealing with major offences in schools.
This research explored the effectiveness of physical punishment including the corporal punishment policy in managing school discipline problems, noting the limitations this method may have and the psychological scars some students tend to have arising from use of corporal punishment. The study was conducted in 10 secondary schools accounting for 50 teachers and 104 students. A descriptive qualitative methodological approach was largely followed, using semi structured questionnaires; interviews and observations to collect data. Quantitative tabulation of some data was only used prior to further qualitative exploration. The findings suggested that the use of physical and corporal punishment method was often degrading to students but less effective. A wide range of abuses of students’ rights was noted, a feature which is anathema to the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) and the African Human and People’s Rights charter on human rights.
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