Delegates at the just ended Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) have unanimously rejected a motion calling for the abolition of corporal punishment in schools.
The motion challenged the effectiveness of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure.
It further noted that punishment of students which involves slapping, pinching, twisting of arms and making students to sit on imaginary chairs has proved detrimental to the health of students and safety of teachers.
It stated that as a result there has been injuries of students, and cases of teachers going through challenges of having to answer for injuring students. “With the enactment of the Children’s Act, the regulations in the Education Act concerning corporal punishment, the current health trends and issues, to protect both teachers and students, BOSETU advocates for is abolition,” read part of the motion.
As an alternative the motion movers suggested that detention, extra work, manual work and suspension could be used instead.
It was however rejected by all the regions who argued that corporal punishment is still effective as a disciplinary measure.
Delegates argued that when administering corporal punishment there are rules that need to be observed. “The length of the stick and who should administer such is clearly defined. Teachers should also not attach emotions when they discipline students.”
Meanwhile BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, has hailed the Policy Conference a great success.
“BOSETU has moved from being a rhetoric organisation to a practical one, so that when we engage government we put forward policies and say this is what teachers are saying,” Rari said.
“It was an orderly and such and engaging conference where policies were robustly debated,” he added.