BONELA calls for abolition of corporal punishment

For centuries setswana culture has been using corporal punishment as a remedy against distractive behavior and actions. For the longest time the method has worked diligently in building an upright society.

It turns out that this tried and tested method has turned evil in the eyes of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA). The organization is calling for the abolition of corporal punishment in schools.

This comes after a video was uploaded on social media platforms showing a male teacher disciplining a female student through corporal punishment. The video also showed a couple of male students lined up waiting for for their turn.

According to BONELA, the act by the teacher was “cruel and unlawful” as it violated the Article 2 of the Education Corpoal Punishment) Regulations of 1968. .

“Article 2 of the Education (Corporal Punishment) Regulations 1968 states: no male teacher may inflict corporal punishment upon any girl whom he has grounds for believing is over the age of 10 years. However, in the video, we can clearly see a violation of the above stated article. BONELA therefore calls for disciplinary action to be taken by the Ministry of Basic Education against the male teacher who was administering corporal punishment on the female student.” BONELA claimed.

BONELA further condemns female teachers that were heard using abusive language aimed at the student in the video. However, the organization did not call for any disciplinary action against them.

The organization wants corporal punishment to be repealed and replaced with prohibition. According to BONELA, corporal punishment of children in national legislation such as the Penal Code, Education Policies or any other laws should be abolished. BONELA calls for “alternative forms of discipline” though they did not suggest any alternative.

“Corporal punishment is a cruel and degrading form of violence, which affects children’s mental and physical wellbeing and a profound violation of human rights. According to the 2018 Violence Against Children Survey, physical violence is the most common form of violence against children; and teachers, parents, caregivers, and adults in the community are among the leading perpetrators. BONELA is concerned and fears that corporal punishment of children will condone an environment of violence.”


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