Zimbabwean Parliamentarians are urging the government to revisit provisions in the Education Amendment Bill, particularly, clauses that seek to ban corporal punishment and the exclusion of pregnant pupils from school.
Many of the legislators who support corporal punishment and exclusion of pregnant girls from school have argued that provisions such as those banning corporal punishment had the potential of reversing the high standards that Zimbabwe had achieved in education.
During the Second Reading of the Bill, one of the legislators, Cde Elias Musakwa said that there was need to review the clause that banned corporal punishment from schools as a way of instilling discipline. He said allowing pregnant pupils to continue with studies had the effect of undermining the desire to uphold the country’s moral fabric.
“As Parliament, we will be judged harshly. Zimbabwe is one of the few countries with literacy rates above 90 percent. We have a value system as a country and society. We are all products of corporal punishment and abandoning it in favour of other forms of punishment, I do not think it will help us…..[corporal punishment] shows moral intactness of our moral fabrics. Condoning child pregnancy in schools is tantamount to reversing the gains we have achieved.” said Cde Musakwa.
Another legislator who echoes CDE Musakwa’s sentiments is Cde Ronald Nyathi who stated that outlawing corporal punishment in schools was not sustainable.
“I am visualising a situation where a pupil misbehaves, what do you expect the teacher to do? We are showing mistrust in our teachers,” said Cde Nyathi, who quoted some biblical verses to support his argument.
If the government succumbs to the legislators, the country will join Tanzania which is one of the countries that has banned pregnant girls and teenage mothers from attending school. The ban which was imposed in 2017 has faced criticism from human rights activists who term it as discriminatory and one that robs girls of their right to education.
Header Image Credit: Ghana News Agency