Effectiveness of Trainings to Curb Corporal Punishment
Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in coordination with Education Department (Rawalpindi) conducted teacher trainings in Rawlpindi, Gujar Khan, Taxila, Murree, Kallar Sayedan, Kotli Satyan and Kahuta in 2011. These trainings aimed at promoting alternatives to corporal punishment in school settings. In connection with this, SPARC in coordination with Education Department Rawalpindi conducted a Consultative workshop on Trainings on Alternatives to Corporal Punishment: Findings and Follow-up Strategy on 13th of October. Key speakers of the workshop were Mr. Mohammad Imtiaz Ahmed and Ms. Gulnaz Zahid from SPARC, Mr. Qazi Zahoor-ul-Haq (EDO Education) and Mr. Zulfikar Ali Raja (DDO Education) Rawalpindi and Mr. Safdar Raza (Plan Pakistan).
Participants included 20 DEOs of Education from seven tehsils under Rawalpindi. The main objective was to discuss the prevalence of corporal punishment in schools, follow-up findings of trainings conducted to promote alternatives to corporal punishment and to determine further strategy to curb corporal punishment from the schools. This one day orientation workshop aimed at sharing the observations from the trainings and to determine the follow-up strategy of those schools, from where head-teachers received trainings under the coordinated efforts between SPARC and Education Department (Rawalpindi).
Mr. Qazi Zahoor-ul-Haq emphasized that our teacher has not stopped exercising corporal punishment fully. Though the percentage is less, but we could not completely eradicate it. He emphasized that incompetent teachers exercise it. He further shared the importance of recent notification by Provincial Education Department, Punjab. According to him, the education department is playing active role to curb corporal punishment from schools in co-ordination with the head teachers. Speakers from SPARC emphasized upon the importance of attitudinal change to promote alternatives to corporal punishment. Participants of the workshop focused upon the teacher-parent coordination as one of the most important alternative.
Mr. Zulfikar (DDO Rawalpindi) shared the positive impact of trainings on alternatives to corporal punishment, conducted so far by the coordinated efforts of SPARC and Education Department. He highlighted that the head teachers of schools who received have brought a real positive change in their schools by even removing the sticks. Finally, the participants and speakers concluded that further trainings and awareness on the issue is needed because there is no justification for exercising corporal punishment to discipline children.
In light of this training experience, it can be emphasized that attitudinal change is quite important and significant to curb corporal punishment prevailing against children.