The Ghana Education Service (GES) has cautioned teachers against the use of corporal punishment and inhumane treatment as a way of correcting students/pupils in schools. The GES initiated the Safe Schools Programme as part of efforts aimed at making pre-tertiary schools in the country safe and secured for teaching and learning.
Teachers have been entreated to apply measures spelled out in the Positive Discipline Toolkit and the Head Teachers’ Handbook (Appendix 2) in dealing with all discipline issues among children.
The first thing every teacher must institute to ensure discipline is the setting of classroom rules posted on notice boards as a visual reminder of expected behaviors from the students. Corporal punishment has been abolished by GES. Kindly follow the disciplinary measures below.
1. Writing Lines
The child is given a sentence to write several times over. The sentence should positively reinforce that child’s need and ability to adhere to the recommended forms of behaviour. Draft the sentence the student would have to write and give him/her a deadline for submission of the lines.
This involves students being asked to undertake some form of community service, such as picking litter or cleaning some particular area of the school; but certainly not the toilets. Picking litter, arranging seats in the classrooms, and other tasks considered as more sanitation-friendly are preferred to the ones that could expose them to sicknesses. It is very important for a teacher to ensure that the child carries out the sanction.
3. Designated Seating Position:
This involves seating the student right in front of or beside the teacher in order to keep an eye on him/her or to move the student from a position that encourages him/her to engage in disruptive behaviour.
With the consent of the student, refer him/her to the school counsellor along with background on the student’s behaviour over time to be counselled. Set an appropriate meeting time for the student to meet with the counselor.
5. Extra Tasks
This has to do with giving the child extra tasks (e.g.extra homework). Inform the child about the extra task(s) he/she would be expected to complete. Follow up to ensure the task is completed.
6. Withdrawing a responsibility
Leadership positions and other responsibilities can be temporarily or permanently withdrawn from the child (e.g. position on the school soccer team or prefectship). This is a punitive measure that can ensure conformity.
7. Letter to parents
This includes writing letters to the child’s parents/guardians in order to inform them about the infractions or chronic misbehaviors exhibited by the child. Meeting with the child’s parent(s) to assess the child’s behaviour could help to determine the steps to be taken to reform his/her behaviour.
In conclusion, every recalcitrant behaviour that has attracted a sanction or punishment must be recorded in the Student Behaviour Logbook
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