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Beating the Misconceptions, Not the Children

A Survey of Corporal Punishment in The Gambia

The Child Protection Alliance ­ The Gambia

Official Representatives of ECPAT in The Gambia

Conducted by

Save the Children ­ Sweden

Regional Office West Africa

Funded by

Produced by: The Child Protection Alliance No. 8 Nora Senior Street Atlantic South Fajara, Bakau, The Gambia Tel: 220 4497425 E-mail: [email protected]

A Research Commissioned By Save the Children ­ Sweden West Africa Regional Office Mailing Address: BP 25934, Dakar-Fann Visiting address: Point E, Rue 6 x C Senegal Tel: 221 869 18 00 Fax: 221 864 44 63 E-mail: [email protected]

Author: Jennifer Tang, The Child Protection Alliance, [email protected] Citation: Tang, Jennifer (2005). Beating the Misconceptions, Not the Children. The Gambia: The Child Protection Alliance. No changes permitted. No reproduction, copy, or transmissions of this publication may be made without the consent of The Child Protection Alliance.

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Beating the Misconceptions, Not the Children

A Survey of Corporal Punishment in The Gambia

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Many citizens and politicians express deep concern about increasing violence in their societies. The credibility of this concern is questionable as long as they are not willing to seriously and systematically address the use of violence against children. And nobody should suggest that a little bit of violence is acceptable. That applies equally for adults and children. Jaap E. Doek Chairperson Committee on the Rights of the Child

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FORWARD

The text of the forward is currently being edited.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1 Introduction -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3

The Gambia ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 Defining Corporal Punishment --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 Corporal Punishment and Human Rights -----------------------------------------------------------------------5 The Effects of Corporal Punishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 The Effectiveness of Corporal Punishment---------------------------------------------------------------------8 Risk Factors for the Use of Corporal Punishment------------------------------------------------------------9 The Status of Corporal Punishment in The Gambia --------------------------------------------------------9 Gambia's Position in a Global Context-------------------------------------------------------------------------10 Research------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------11 Geography----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 Sample---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14 Questionnaires ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 Focus Group Discussions-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 Interviews -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 Prevalence----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15

Methodology--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13

Results --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17

Questionnaires ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 Focus Group Discussions-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 Interviews -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18

Analysis-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

Children's Perceptions -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------19 Teacher's Perceptions -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------28 Parent's Perceptions--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------38

Recommendations------------------------------------------------------------------------------------48

Committee on the Rights of the Child --------------------------------------------------------------------------48 Adopt a Zero-tolerance Stance -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------48 Reform Pertinent Laws -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------49 Sensitize the Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------50 Promote Positive Discipline through the Education of Alternatives----------------------------------51

Appendix------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 53

I II III IV Questionnaires-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------53 Focus Group Discussion Questions------------------------------------------------------------------------74 Interview Questions-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------75 Frequencies of Questionnaire Responses---------------------------------------------------------------76

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V Transcript of Focus Group Discussions -------------------------------------------------------------------99 VI Interview Responses------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 133

References-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 141

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Corporal punishment is any punishment in which physical force is intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort to a child. It is a violation of a child's fundamental human rights, and flies in the face the principles of non-discrimination and protection against all forms of violence as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In accordance with these international instruments, schoolgoing children should be discipline in a manner that respects a child's human dignity. Within the family, inter-personal violence against any other group, such as women or the elderly, is no longer tolerated. The continued defence and use of corporal punishment against children cannot be shielded by cultural arguments. The abolishment of corporal punishment is a human rights imperative that urgently needs to be addressed. Moreover, corporal punishment has been shown to be an instigator of a host of negative effects including increased aggression, increased abusive behaviour, as well as decreased cognitive and academic development. The approval and use of even "mild" corporal punishment increases the risk that a child will be severely abused. Furthermore, corporal punishment has been proven to be no more, if not less effective in disciplining children. As a result, caregivers become increasingly frustrated, escalating the force they inflict on the child and driving upwards the risk of abuse. Abolishing corporal punishment is not an imposition of child -rearing methodologies, but a proactive measure to protect children. The Gambia not only fails to take a stand against abolishment, it sanctions the application of corporal punishment as a disciplinary method in schools and as a sentence for a crime. Considering the depth at which corporal punishment is entrenched into the values of the nation, a survey of the magnitude of the situation is appreciably necessary. Over 1500 questionnaires were collected and over a dozen focus group discussions were held to elicit the views of children, teachers, and parents. Institutions that influence the use of corporal punishment in The Gambia were also interviewed. Children are corporally punished at school and at home, most often by being caned. Almost three out of five teachers admitted that they would corporally punish their students. Four out of five parents would use corporal punishment on their children and almost a quarter said they beat their children very often. Nearly half of the children sustained injuries as a result of their punishments; often it is in the form of bruises, but it is more likely to suffer internal bleeding than it is to get a cut, and having a tooth knocked out is not uncommon. The value of discipline is held highly by teachers, parents, and especially by children themselves. Unfortunately, the concepts of discipline and corporal punishment are often considered to be one and the same; to discipline is to beat. Corporal punishment is regarded as the way, the duty, and the right of the African caregiver. Most parents believe that corporal punishment is a normal method of child rearing, most teachers believe that corporal punishment is the only thing that children understand when they disobey, and most children believe that schools and parents are right in beating them. Corporal punishment is deemed to be an effective form of discipline by all three groups.

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Little over half of children feel that corporal punishment should be banned in schools and homes while less than a fifth of teachers and roughly a fifth of parents agree. Encouragingly, the vast majority of teachers think that they need training in classroom management and positive, nonviolent alternative punishments. In discussing the possibility of abolishing corporal punishment however, both parents and teachers are staunchly opposed to the idea. Teachers accept as fact that there are no alternatives to corporal punishment that do not inhibit the learning process, instead preferring to fold their arms in exasperation. Abolishing corporal punishment is judged to be a futile endeavour, jeopardizing the future of the nation's citizens, while efforts should be made in teaching people how to properly beat children. Clearly, ending corporal punishment in The Gambia is a challenging mission. It will require the mobilization of various sectors of society. First, a zero-tolerance stance must be taken against corporal punishment. No amount of violence is acceptable and beating children cannot be given a slippery slope to stand for justification. Second, the corporal punishment of children in schools and homes must be declared illegal. The purpose of such an act is not to criminalize behaviour, but to spell out what is not an acceptable way to deal with children, encouraging caregivers to seek help in disciplining their child in socially acceptable ways. Third, the foundational values that promote the use of corporal punishment must be tackled. The public must be sensitized to the ill effects of corporal punishment, and the erroneous assumption of its efficacy extinguished. The voice of respected health, community, and religious leader will be instrumental in this endeavour and must employ all available mediums. Finally, the abolition of corporal punishment must be coupled with the promotion of alternative non-violent forms of discipline. Armed with positive discipline methods, and convinced of the detriments of an unacceptable form of violence, caregivers will cease to employ corporal punishment.

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INTRODUCTION

The Gambia Country Profile The Gambia, one of the smallest countries in West Africa, has a sub-tropical climate and lies between latitudes 13 and 14 degrees North. A narrow strip of land approximately 400 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, The Gambia is surrounded on three sides by Senegal and borders the Atlantic Ocean on the West. The surface geology of the country consists almost entirely of nearly flat land with a few hills found in the middle and eastern parts of the country. The country is divided into the capital territory and seat of government (Banjul), and six administrative areas: Kanifing Municipality, Western Division, Lower River Division, North Bank Division, Central River Division, and Upper River Division. A Commissioner heads each area, which are further divided into a total of thirty-five districts locally administered by chiefs. Decades of drought leading to low and uneven rainfall distribution have caused a sharp decline in agricultural production and therefore rural income levels over the past three decades. As agriculture is the main source of employment and food supply for the rural population (63% of the population of The Gambia), the decline in production has both social and economic consequences for the country. This has in the recent past led to acceleration in rural-urban migration, an increase in the incidence of poverty and has also adversely affected the state of food security. Among the poorest countries in the world, The Gambia is ranked 160 of 173 according to the UNDP Human Development Report of 2002; 69% of the population lives below the poverty line. With a population of 1 400 000 (2003 Census) and a total habitable land area of 10,689 sq km., The Gambia is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa and has one of the fastest rates of population growth in the world. The population growth is estimated to be growing at a rate of 2.8%. The cohort of 0-14 years entails 44.9% of the total population. Life expectancy is 54.38 years. The fertility rate is 5.53 children per woman born. The average household size in the Gambia is 8.9 persons. The population, 95% of which is Muslim and the remainder of which are mostly Christian, is composed of a number of ethnic groups, the four major ones being Mandinka (40%), Fula (19%), Wollof (15%), and Jola (10%). Social and Cultural Environment Culturally, The Gambia is a male-dominated society where women have little decision-making power. It is generally accepted by both men and women that the socio-economic status of women is inferior to that of men; women are valued for their fertility. Often the understanding of the role and status of women and children in traditional Gambian society demands an awareness of the entrenched social attitudes and values. Traditional beliefs and customs are very strong, especially in the rural areas. Harmful traditional practices in The Gambia are many and vary from one ethnic group to another and from one region to another.

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Although basic primary education is guaranteed by the Constitution and is supposed to be free and compulsory, there is no corresponding duty placed on either the parent or the State to ensure enrolment and attendance. The government lacks legal mechanisms to enforce the right to education, especially in rural areas where some children, especially girls, are prevented by their parents from attending school. Despite the decreasing gaps in enrollment between boys and girls, discrepancies in access to education continue to run along gender, regional, ethnic, and class lines. As a result, the adult literacy rate for The Gambia was 37% in 2000. From a survey conducted by UNICEF in 2002, it was revealed that children in The Gambia are ignorant of their rights to protection. Most children have no knowledge of the international instruments that guarantee their rights. Those who have heard of the UNCRC refer to the provisions that afford them the rights to basic social services such as adequate food, shelter, and education. Some are even opposed to the idea that children should have the right to voice their opinions and to be listened to and respected, as that would undermine parental authority and control. In the same study, community members including parents, religious leaders, community leaders, teachers, and police officers among others showed a similar if not more ambivalent attitude towards child rights. Most adults defined a child according to what they considered to be suitable ages for marriage. Although they believed that children needed certain `things' to develop, these things were not expressed as rights, instead stressing that children should be made to understand the limitations of poverty. Unfortunately, a culture of silence exists in The Gambia as absolute and unquestioned obedience, subordination, and subservience from children is the welcomed expectation. The family, rather than the individual is the most important unit. Although this fosters community-mindedness, at times this clashes with the best interests of the child. A culture of silence not only prevents children from speaking out against abuse, it also inhibits protection mechanisms to be put in place. Children in The Gambia, despite their numerical strength - comprising half the population ­ are rarely given the opportunity to voice their opinions on decisions that affect their lives. Society's view of children as passive, incompetent and vulnerable subjects coupled with the lack of formal structures and mechanisms for channelling children and youth concerns, enormously militate against child involvement. Children in The Gambia not only need to be recognized as effective social actors and agents of change, but also to be empowered for meaningful participation in national issues. Defining Corporal Punishment According to the Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children, corporal punishment is "any punishment in which physical force is inte nded to cause some degree of pain or discomfort: hitting children with a hand, or with a cane, strap or other object, kicking, shaking or throwing children, scratching, pinching, biting or pulling their hair, forcing them to stay in uncomfortable positions, locking or tying them up, burning, scalding or forced ingestion ­ for example washing mouths out with soap."1

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The definition of corporal punishment is a debated subject as it can be interpreted and established in various ways as to reflect a particular stance on the subject. Researchers conducting work in this area have found it necessary to include the purpose for administering corporal punishment as part of their definition in an effort to distinguish it from force used for other objectives. Accordingly, corporal punishment is also defined as "the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain but not injury for the purpose of correction or control of the child's behaviour"2 For the purposes of this survey, a concise adaptation of the definition offered by the Global Initiative is used: Corporal punishment is any punishment in which physical force is intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort to a child. Wherein a child is defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as any persons under the age of eighteen. As to further clarify the definition and prevent any misconstruction, corporal punishment should not be confused with protective physical restraint, which is "the application of external control, not to punish, but to protect the child or others from physical pain and harm," or self-defence used as a means of protecting oneself. 3 Although corporal punishment is often administered for the purposes of discipline, punishment and discipline are not interchangeable concepts. Discipline includes a range of philosophies and methods that protect, socialize, and teach children independence, selfcontrol, and to respect themselves and others. Thus, physical discipline cannot be considered to be synonymous with corporal punishment. Corporal Punishment and Human Rights Corporal punishment is a breach of a person's fundamental right to respect for human dignity and physical integrity under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Considering that the principle of non-discrimination is included in all the basic human rights instruments; the mechanisms that permit corporal punishment clearly flout a child's right to equal protection under the law. In fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. The United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) reaffirms the child's entitlement to human rights, whom "by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection" as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The UNCRC recognizes "the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community." The Convention also takes into account "the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child." Article 19(1) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child requires that states "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence... while in the care of parents(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child." In regards to educatio n, article 28(2) requires that states "take all 5

appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity." The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring and treaty body for the UNCRC has consistently interpreted that "corporal punishment is incompatible with the Convention."4 The Committee urges states to "enact or repeal, as a matter of urgency, their legislation in order to prohibit all forms of violence in families and in schools, including as a form of discipline, as required by the provisions of the Convention." The Committee has asserted, "...Children do not lose their human rights by virtue of passing through the school gates. Thus, for example, education must be provided in a way that respects the inherent dignity of the child, enables the child to express his or her views freely in accordance with article 12(1) and to participate in school life. Education must also be provided in a way that respects the strict limits on discipline reflected in article 28(2) and promotes non-violence in school. The Committee has repeatedly made clear in its concluding observations that the use of corporal punishment does not respect the inherent dignity of the child nor the strict limits on school discipline." Often a debate arises arguing that the issue of corporal punishment sits on a continuum of force ­ where some do not use physical force at all, while others apply it to the opposite extreme effectively abusing the child. From the perspective of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: "certain States have tried to distinguish between the correction of children and excessive violence. In reality the dividing line between the two is artificial. It is very easy to pass from one stage to the other." The respect for child rights does not sit on a span. The violence inflicted upon children under the guise of corporal punishment cannot be considered as acceptable by tinting it different shades of the same palette. The rights of children need to be respected unequivocally. Other forms of interpersonal violence within the family, such as domestic violence against women, the elderly, or the disabled are already subject to social control and are illegal in almost every society. Humanity and logic suggest that children should be the first, not the last, members of human societies to be effectively protected from assault and deliberate humiliation. "If the State, as a role model par excellence, treats the weakest and the most vulnerable among us in a manner which diminishes rather than enhances their self-esteem and human dignity, the danger increases that their regard for a culture of decency and respect for the rights of others will be diminished."5 The Committee poses, "If it is not permissible to beat an adult, why should it be permissible to do so to a child? One of the contributions of the Convention is to call attention to the contradictions in our attitudes and cultures." 6 The Committee, along with a growing group of international and regional human rights treaty bodies and high-level court judgements, have condemned corporal punishment. They require that corporal punishment be prohibited while initiating awareness-raising and public education campaigns to inform parents, teachers, and the public in general about children's right to protection and non-violent methods of disciplining and raising children. The effort to abolish corporal punishment is not driven by the aim to promote one way of child rearing over another, but the obligation to accord children their fundamental human rights.

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The Effects of Corporal Punishment Evidence of harm is not necessary to justify the abolishment of corporal punishment - it violates human rights. Nonetheless, research findings add empirical we ight to the necessity to end all corporal punishment of children. Recently, studies have been able to show a more direct causal link between corporal punishment and negative behaviours or experiences though the bulk of cumulative scientific studies have easily demonstrated their associations. In an extensive research, Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff conducted a meta-analytic review of 88 studies conducted over 62 years to determine the relationship between corporal punishment and a range of child behaviours and experiences 7. Among others detailed below, corporal punishment is associated with: decreased moral internalization; increased child aggression; decreased quality of relationship between parent and child; decreased child mental health; increased risk of being a victim of physical abuse; increased adult aggression; and increased adult criminal and anti-social behaviour. Gershoff found that corporal punishment was correlated with increased child delinquent and antisocial behaviour. Other studies showed a direct link between corporal punishment, and subsequent antisocial behaviour such as cheating, telling lies, bullying, being mean to others, breaking things deliberately, being disobedient at school, and not feeling sorry after misbehaving. 8 Another survey found that the more a corporal punishment a child is subjected to, the greater amount of fighting he/she is engaged in at school five years later. 9 Alarmingly, corporal punishment was also associated with an increased probability of a child assaulting a parent a year and a half later. 10 The higher antisocial behaviour found as a result of corporal punishment from these studies and the meta-analyses goes to show how the disciplinary rationale for utilizing corporal punishment has the tendency to have a boomerang effect, magnifying subsequent deviant behaviour. The meta-analysis showed that corporal punishment is associated with decreased adult mental health. This can be evidenced by the relationship between the more corporal punishment experienced in the teen years and the higher the percentage who have a drinking problem, who have depressive symptoms, and who though about killing themselves during the 12 months prior to the time they were interviewed. 11 In line with Gershoff's findings that corporal punishment increased the risk of those, as adults, abusing one's own child or spouse, another study showed that the more corporal punishment experienced by boys, the "greater the probability of their physically assaulting a girlfriend."12 The more corporal punishment individuals experience as children, the greater the proportion who, as adults, hit their spouses or went beyond `ordinary' corporal punishment and attacked their children severely enough for it to be considered child abuse. 13 Another long-term effect of corporal punishment is adult's greater tolerance of violence. Serious physical behaviour can be seen as normal if it is part of one's experience while growing up. Adults are more likely to approve of corporal punishment if they experienced it as a child. 14 What one considers being normal as a child is carried into adulthood, influencing the probability of continuing the cycle, though not setting its destiny.

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Although Gershoff did find that overall, corporal punishment did relate to immediate compliance, even this finding is not solid.15 Furthermore, immediate compliance is often only a short-term goal for parents, the long-term goal being future compliance due to understanding even in the absence of authority. This requires children to internalize morals, which studies have found corporal punishment to be associated with lessening as exhibited by decreased levels of resistance to temptation, altruistic behaviour, empathy, feelings of guilt following misbehaviour, tendencies to make reparations upon harming others, and long-term compliance.1617 Corporal punishment "may focus the child's attention on the consequences of his behaviour for himself, rather than how it affects others."18 Regarding the education of children, corporal punishment is associated with slower cognitive development for children aged 2-4 and 5-9. 19 Considering that corporal punishment is most commonly used with young children and that many defend the use of corporal punishment for this age group, this result points out the irony in that it's use is often considered acceptable for the ages in which it will have the most adverse effects on their development. 20 Corporal punishment has also been shown to lead to a subsequent decline in academic performance, which may be because children do not learn well when they are distracted by fear.2122 Also, corporal punishment has been shown to increase school dropout rates significantly. 23 The fact is that corporal punishment increases the risk of children being abused. Of Gershoff's meta-analyses, the association between corporal punishment and physical abuse of the same children was one of the strongest. 24 Most cases of child physical abuse occur during episodes of physical punishment. 25 The more often someone of authority uses even mild corporal punishment the increased chance that they will inflict severe violence.26 Also, the more strongly a person approves of corporal punishment, the more harshly they inflict it on the child.27 The risk of child abuse is a tragedy that deserves our best prevention efforts. This relationship between corporal punishment and child abuse alone is more than persuasive rationale for the abolition of corporal punishment. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Almost all the negative outcomes related to corporal punishment fall under this concept. Thus, the impact of corporal punishment can be considered detrimental to a child's health just as spanking has been shown to be detrimental to a child's health and well-being.28 The Effectiveness of Corporal Punishment Corporal punishment has, in various studies, been repeatedly shown to be no more if not less effective in disciplining children. A child that has been subjected to corporal punishment as a means of correcting behaviour will misbehave again just as often and as quickly as if he was corrected by other methods such as deprivation of privileges or "time-out". 29 Whereas non-violent methods of discipline are abandoned quickly when a child behaves badly again, leading caregivers to turn to the "last resort", corporal punishment's effectiveness is not questioned even though it warrants it's use over and over. When a child continues to misbehave after being corporally punished, caregivers have the tendency to increase the severity as a way of stressing their intent, escalating the risk of child 8

abuse. These episodes are often fuelled by emotion, rather than reason. Even many parents who think that corporal punishment is acceptable do not think that it is an effective method and most regret hitting their children. 30 When emotionally charged, adults use corporal punishment less as a form of discipline, and more as a form of retaliation. In an effort to gain a sense of control, adults misuse their power to reassert a sense of authority they feel they have lost. Risk Factors for the Use of Corporal Punishment3132 Certain children are more likely to receive corporal punishment than others: · Boys, especially once they reach school age · Younger children Certain factors increase the likelihood of a person using corporal punishment: · The more anger one feels · The more corporal punishment one has received as a child · The more one interprets a child's misbehaviour as defiance rather than a expression of their development Certain situations increase the likelihood of using corporal punishment: · Those who are depressed · Parents who are of a lower socio-economic situation · The more children in the family · The more marital conflict or violence, relationship stress and parenting stress Other factors have yielded mixed results. · Some studies have found that females are more likely to use corporal punishment, while others find no gender difference · Some studies have found that lower levels of education are associated with greater use of corporal punishment while others have shown it to be associated with less use. Others have found no relationship or an unclear one. · Some studies have shown younger parents use corporal punishment more than older parents while others have found the opposite. Some have found no relationship between parental age and corporal punishment use But by far, the most powerful predictor of the use of corporal punishment is the approval of the use of corporal punishment. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that our efforts be guided towards changing the endorsement of corporal punishment. The Status of Corporal Punishment in The Gambia33 Corporal punishment in the home Corporal punishment is lawful in the home. Under common law, which is part of the laws of The Gambia under the Laws of England (Application) Act, Cap.5, parents, guardians and others in loco parentis can "reasonably chastise" their child. Children have limited protection from ab use and neglect by the Constitution (article 29) and the Criminal Code (articles 18-19, 210-211 and 218).

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Corporal punishment in schools Corporal punishment is lawful in schools. Section 15 of the Education Regulations of Education Act Cap.46 of the revised laws of Gambia (1990) states: "Firm discipline shall be maintained and enforced in all schools, but all degrading and injurious punishments are prohibited, and no child shall receive corporal punishment of any form save as is hereinafter in this regulation provided." Under paragraphs 2-4 of section 15, corporal punishment should be administered only by the head teacher or an assistant teacher in the presence of the head teacher, to female pupils only in exceptional circumstances and then only by a female teacher, and logged in a designated book. Many children are sent away by their parents for Islamic religious education under the custodian of their teachers (Marabouts), but the children (known as Almudus) are often subject to severe abuse and neglect. Penal system Corporal punishment is lawful as a sentence for crime. Under the Child and Young Persons Act (1969) (sections 13 and 16), the court can order young offenders (but not girls over 13 years) to be whipped up to ten strokes. Children under the age of 7 who are considered guilty of an offence may be caned up to ten strokes by a police officer, upon authorization by a senior officer, without the case being taken to court (section 16). Corporal punishment is lawful as a disciplinary measure in juvenile detention institutions, but details of applicable law are not apparent. Alternative care Corporal punishment is lawful in other institutions and forms of childcare, but details of applicable law are not apparent. Non-governmental policies Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) The Gambia compiled a Corporal Punishment Policy in June 2003. VSO volunteers will respect Gambian law while VSO supports "limiting, and eventually eradicating corporal punishment in Gambian educational establishments."34 In this vein, VSO volunteers are asked to help monitor the situation of corporal punishment in schools, encourage discussions about alternative forms of discipline, and develop school discipline policies. VSO takes into consideration the manner in which a school abid es by Gambian law in administering corporal punishment as a key criterion to "decide whether to build or continue a partnership with that school."35 Gambia's Position in a Global Context As of the writing of this report, only 14 of the over 190 States that have ratified the UNCRC have prohibited corporal punishment in all forms and in all settings in the last 15 years.36 As yet, no African country has done so, although the law commission reviewing childcare legislation in South Africa has delivered a draft law that includes a provision that will effectively prohibit corporal punishment. 37 In essence, only 52 million of 2.2 billion children, or little over 2% of the world's boys and girls, are legally given equal protection from physical force. 38

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The Gambia is one of only about 60 States in which corporal punishment is still sanctioned for use in schools and other institutions. The Gambia is also among less than 100 States where the use of whipping or caning is still permitted by law. The ancient English common law defence of "reasonable chastisement" has been incorporated into Gambian law. Recently, a number of nations have removed the defence of "lawful chastisement" or "reasonable force" from their criminal laws. The Gambia should not merely fall in line, but move to explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings. Research One of the first of many various actions necessary in moving to end corporal punishment is to conduct research. Not only does research produce a clearer picture, give greater insight, and document the situation; it also makes corporal punishment more visible to the people touched by the research. During the process of research, people come to understand that corporal punishment is an issue worth investigating, debating, and acting on. Awareness is the first of many steps to eliciting change. It would seem that this is the first research of its kind. The lack of research on corporal punishment in The Gambia demonstrates the low priority of importance this issue is considered. It also suggests that corporal punishment is by and large socially approved, requiring no urgent investigations. Although corporal punishment has been "on the radar" for those working for or with children, no concerted effort for its abolishment has yet been mounted. In light of the above, and in an effort to contribute to the United Nations Secretary General's Study on Violence against Children, Save the Children Sweden's Regional Office for West Africa has commissioned the Child Protection Alliance ­ The Gambia to conduct a survey of corporal punishment in The Gambia. The goal of the survey is to uncover the views of children, parents, teachers, community members, and key decision-makers. The report of the survey aims to lay a foundation for the abolishment of corporal punishment, use the information generated from the survey to provide a general conception of corporal punishment, and generate recommendations to begin the process of ending all corporal punishment in The Gambia

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METHODOLOGY

Before the survey was even designed, a task group was formed to garner the input of various institutions and groups. The task group included representatives from VSO, Peace Corps, the Department of State for Education, the Department of Central Statistics, FAWEGAM, the Child Protection Alliance, and children from the Voice of the Young, the child participation group under the auspices of CPA. The task group looked at the various research instruments and how they were to be administered, effectively guiding the data collection process. The survey was designed to produce both quantitative and qualitative data that will generate a holistic picture of Gambian perceptions of corporal punishment. Questionnaires were administered to measure the position of many individuals, focus group discussions were held to gain insight, and interviews were conducted to document stance of key bodies or departments. One of the most important elements of this survey is to record children's views on corporal punishment. Only occasionally are children's views on this subject sought before actions are conducted on their behalf. Allowing children to voice their opinions and providing a platform on which they are encouraged to do so is one of the main tenets of child rights. Some defend the use of corporal punishment by debasing the issue as unimportant. When children are asked, they consider corporal punishment a concern that affects their well-being. The priority children place on this issue must be respected and accordingly, their views on corporal punishment are of great weight. CPA felt that children should be included not only as respondents to the survey, but also as participants in its accomplishment. One of the objectives of the Child Protection Alliance is to empower children with knowledge and skills that will enable them to actively participate in bringing about the changes they desire. As this was an excellent opportunity for children to play a part in the survey, six members of the Voice of the Young were invited to contribute as research assistants. In the process, they were taught the basics of research, trained on the skills necessary to collect field data, and given the opportunity to gain some first-hand experience. Geography The bulk of the questionnaires and focus group discussions were administered in Central River Division (CRD) and Upper River Division (URD) while some were done in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA). The locus of the survey was narrowed down to these areas for two reasons. First, targeting certain communities within selected divisions would most efficiently use the time and resources available. Second, the results of this survey and the recommendations of the report will be used by the Child Protection Alliance to guide their activities in addressing corporal punishment in their intervention areas: the GBA, CRD, and URD. Conducting the survey in these areas incorporates a mix of urban and rural respondents while building relationships for subsequent work. Questionnaires were administered in the following schools and their surrounding areas: School Region Bansang Upper Basic School Central River Division Janjangbureh Upper Basic School Central River Division

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Sololo Basic Cycle School Brikamaba Upper Basic School Njoren Basic Cycle School Chargel Basic Cycle School Bureng Upper Basic School Soma Basic Cycle School Pakalinding Upper Basic School Kaiaf Basic Cycle School Kwinella Upper Basic School Jappineh Basic Cycle School Nioro Jattaba Basic Cycle School Crab Island Upper Basic School Muhammedan Lower Basic School Bakau Upper Basic School Bakoteh Upper Basic School New Jeshwang Upper Basic School St. Theresa Upper Basic School

Central River Division Central River Division Central River Division Central River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Lower River Division Greater Banjul Area Greater Banjul Area Greater Banjul Area Greater Banjul Area Greater Banjul Area Greater Banjul Area

Focus group discussions were held with the following groups and locations: Group School/Village Region Teachers Bansang Upper Basic School Central River Division Parents Bansang Central River Division Students Jangjanbureh Upper Basic School Central River Division Teachers Jangjanbureh Upper Basic School Central River Division Parents Jangjanbureh Central River Division Students Sololo Upper Basic School Central River Division Teachers Brikamaba Upper Basic School Central River Division Students Brikamaba Upper Basic School Central River Division Students Bureng Upper Basic School Lower River Division Teachers Bureng Upper Basic School Lower River Division Parents Pakalinding Lower River Division Teachers Jappineh Upper Basic School Lower River Division Students Jappineh Upper Basic School Lower River Division Parents Niorro Jataba Lower River Division Questionnaires and focus group discussions were conducted over a seven-day trek to CRD and URD and questionnaires administered in the GBA over three days. Sample The aim was to reach approximately 0.1% of the population through the questionnaires, though including proportionally more children than in a normative sample. Roughly the same number of focus group discussions was held for children, parents, and teachers. Each focus group would include 6-15 participants.

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Questionnaires In total, 1569 questionnaires were administered as a means of gathering a large batch of quantitative data. This data generated information regarding the prevalence of certain aspects and allowed us to correlate different factors. Data from questionnaires were entered and analysed in SPSS statistical software. Three different questionnaires were designed for each of the children, parent, and teacher groups. A sample of each can be found in the Appendix I. Focus Group Discussions Focus group discussions were held to further draw out attitudes and perceptions, delivered in the participant's own words, allowing people to build upon each other's remarks. Focus group discussions also had the added advantage of reaching those whose literacy level may have obstructed their participation and who were more comfortable communicating in local languages. Separate focus group discussions were held for each of the different groups: children, parents, and teachers. Discussions were recorded on hand-held tape recorders that were subsequently transcribed in English. Although the discussions were informal and unstructured, a set of questions guided facilitators in eliciting their views on specific subjects. A sample of the focus group discussion questions can be found in the Appendix II. Interviews Individuals representing institutions or departments that greatly influence and make decisions regarding corporal punishment were interviewed. Four bodies were selected to garner insight into the major facets of corporal punishment: The Department of State for Social Welfare for the home and community aspect; the Department of State for Education for their management of schools; the Department of State for Justice for the legal side; and UNICEF for their position as an influential non-governmental child advocacy organization. The interviews were informal and semi-structured; questions were not posed verbatim but mean to elicit the respondent's views on identified matters. Examples of the questions posed can be found in the Appendix III. Prevalence As much as it would be useful to pinpoint the prevalence of corporal punishment, this is not entirely realistic nor is it within the parameters of this survey. Knowing the prevalence would allow us to gauge the magnitude of the problem, thus setting a baseline from which to judge changes in behaviour and evaluate activities that endeavour to stop the use of corporal punishment. What this survey will be able to disclose is the perceived prevalence of corporal punishment. This perception will be confounded by personal biases regarding the issue (underreporting or over reporting depending on the individual's stance), recall errors, and adult's willingness to report behaviour they often regret. The perception of prevalence however, will allow us to appraise how people feel about the amount of corporal punishment they witness.

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RESULTS

Questionnaires 1569 questionnaires were completed: 878 (56%) by children, 265 (17%) by teachers, and 426 (27%) by parents.

Questionnaire Respondents

426

878 265

Children

Teachers

Parents

Geographically, the respondents were distributed thusly: Children Teachers Lower River Division 18.3% 25.3% Central River Division 61.2% 45.7% Greater Banjul Area 20.4% 28.7% The gender of the respondents were: Male Female Children 46.9% 53.1% Teachers 74.0% 26.0%

Parents 79.7% 9.4% 10.4% Parents 64.2% 35.3%

93% of parents are married and 83.5% of them have a child or children going to school. Of the teachers surveyed, 2.3% are teaching kindergarten, 35.8% are teaching lower basic, 50.2% are teaching upper basic. 11.7% are teaching senior secondary. 56.4% of teachers are married and 47.5% have a child or children going to school. 5.3% of teachers have 10-24 students in their class, 42.2% of teachers have 25-44 students, 39.9% have 45-59 students, and 12.5% have over 60 students in their class. The frequency of responses for each question is catalogued in Appendix IV.

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Focus Group Discussions In total 14 focus group discussions were conducted, 4 with parents, 5 with students, and 5 with teachers. Focus group discussions with children and teachers were conducted in English, although participants would occasionally infuse their speech with local language (Mandinka and Fula). The discussions held with parents were conducted in the local language that best fit that population, Mandinka, Wollof, or Fula. See Appendix V for transcriptions of focus group discussions Interviews Four interviews each with a different department or body that influence the situation of corporal punishment in The Gambia were conducted. These were conducted with the Department of Social Welfare, the Child Rights Unit at the Department of State for Justice, UNICEF, and the Department of State for Education. The proceedings of these interviews can be found in Appendix VI. Interviews were not included in the analysis of the survey data for two reasons. Firstly, the responses of the interviewees cannot be considered as the views of children, teachers, or even parents, although some of the professionals interviewed are parents. They are solely the perceptions of the departments interviewed, which are informed by and act upon information particular to that body. Secondly, to analyse individual responses would risk warping the message of the interviewees' words. As interviews were not transcribed verbatim, to analyse responses noted by the interviewer would only exacerbate that possibility. Therefore, the proceedings have been presented manifestly, encouraging those interested in the institution interviews to reflect and extract their reactions accordingly.

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ANALYSIS

Children's Perceptions Understanding of Corporal Punishment and Child Rights From the focus group discussions, some children seem to be able to define corporal punishment, for example "corporal punishment is the infliction of pain on a child by an adult, for example punishments like beating," while others can only describe them as "bad" or "serious or severe punishments that are put across students to which, maybe people feel are not supposed to." 69.9% of children believe or strongly believe that children have rights, 73.2% of boys and 66.9% of girls make up this population. Children aged 8 to 12, 13 to 15, and 16 to 19 are similarly not sure if they believe that children have rights. 13.8% of children of these ages are not sure while 45.5% of children 7 years old and younger are not sure. This most likely reflects young children's lack of knowledge on child rights. The tendency for them to report not being sure about the issue rather than citing an opinion is encouraging as it shows that young children are open to learning about the issues first. Almost an equal amount of children (50.2%) think that children have a right not to be subjected to punishment that is humiliating and degrading (as opposed to 48.1%). Unfortunately, strong misconceptions can be found in the focus group discussions with children. One student claimed, "When students are in the classroom, teachers have no rights to come and send the students outside when the lesson are on." Children's misconceptions and their manipulation of it are widening the rift between themselves and parents and teachers. It also makes it difficult for those who are trying to advocate for them on their behalf. Discipline and Incidences 51.1% of children do not think that discipline is a problem at their schools, 37.7% think it is, and 11.0% are not sure. There is no difference between the perception of discipline of boys and that of girls. Children living in Central River Division are more likely to feel that discipline is not a problem in their schools as 56.2% of children reported so as opposed to 44.3% of children from Lower River Division and 42.9% of children from the Greater Banjul Area. How school rules are decided does not influence student's perceptions of discipline. All students in the focus group discussions highly regard the importance of discipline, "we should maintain discipline in whatever we are doing. It is the main part of everything. Discipline again has to do with respect. You have to honour and give respect to your elders. Another boy goes to say, "discipline is the key to success and I think every student is really advised to be disciplined in order to achieve his aim of being in school. Most of us here do not originally come from this place; we are here purposely for education. And really when we come here we need to follow the steps that are related to our education. It is very good for students to be disciplined in school" According to children, corporal punishment is practiced in 69.7% of schools. There is no sex difference in reporting and it is consistent at each level of education and in each division. Whether

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children perceive discipline to be a problem in their schools does not affect their report of the practice of corporal punishment.

Percentage of Children Who Report That They Do Not Receive Beating or Other Punishments by Parents or Guardians at Home by Age

35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% 7 or younger 8-12 13-15 16-19

Children's Ages

Figure 1 Only 10.2% of students are not beaten or subjected to other punishments by their teachers. Teachers who beat without the use of other punishment increases as levels of education decrease; 13.6% of senior secondary schools just beat, 23.2% of upper basic schools, and 33.8% of lower basic schools. More children report that their teachers do not beat them or subject them to punishment in the GBA (16.6%) than children in LRD (7.6%) and CRD (8.1%) combined. Anecdotally, the use of corporal punishment is more frequent and more severe in Quranic schools than state schools. In one of the focus groups, a boy recounted, "one of my cousins, a distant relative, who is in Quranic school was once beaten until he nearly died... the parents said the boy was learning the Quran so it was right for the man to beat him like that." The majority (67.9%) of students are beaten sometimes, while 8.1% are beaten often, 10.5% are beaten very often, and 13.4% are rarely beaten by their teachers. More boys report being beaten by teachers often or very often (21.9%) than girls (15.6%). The frequency of teac hers beating students is consistent at the different levels of education. More students report being beaten very often in Lower River Division (16.4%) than in Central River Division (11.0%) and the Greater Banjul Area (3.8%) combined. At the hands of teachers, the cane is used on 59.9% of children, while other implements or objects at hand are used on 22.0%, 11.4% are beaten with a ruler and 6.7% with a belt. Children of both sexes are subjected to similar implements for corporal punishment. The proportion of students beaten with each object is consistent in each level of formal education except that the ruler is used

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more in lower levels of education ­ 7.4% in senior secondary schools, 11.7% of upper basic schools, and 14.3% of lower basic schools. The cane is used most on students in the GBA (78.9%) than students in CRD (60.0%) or LRD (40.0%). The proportion of students beaten with the belt in Lower River Division (10.2%) is more than those beaten with a belt in Central River Division (7.0%) and the Greater Banjul Area (2.6%) combined. The ruler is used far more in LRD (25.9%) than in CRD (8.7%) and the GBA (5.3%). According to children, 43.8% say that school rules are decided by the school administration, 28.2% say it is by the head teacher after some discussion with other staff members, 19.6% say that the head teacher and school council negotiate rules, 6.8% say the school council decides, while 1.5% say that school rules are decided by some other method.

Where On the Body Children Are Beaten

29.0%

34.0% 6.2% 10.4%

20.4%

All Over the Body

Back

Buttocks

Head

Face

Figure 2 85.0% of students, consistent through each level of education, feel that the rules have been made clear, although 16.8% do not feel that there are consequences for breaking the rules or at least they have not been made clear as 8% say that is the case. 47.1% of students say that they are made aware of school rules by being told by teachers, 21.1% by rules being displayed on a school notice board, 15.1% say by rules being displayed on charts or on the walls in the school, 13.2% say by having their parents tell them, while 3.5% say that they are aware of school rules through some other avenue. 25.3% of children, are not beaten or subjected to other punishments by their parents or guardians at home. These numbers remain stable for both sexes and in each region. As the ages of children increase, more will report that they do not receive beating or other punishments by parents or guardians at home: 10.0% of children 7 years or younger, 9.2% of those 8 to 12, 22.7% of 13 to 15 year old, and 32.0% of 16 to 19 year olds [Figure 1].

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At home, it is usually a child's mother who beats him or her (36.6%), almost as likely as it is to be their father (34.1%), followed by their guardian (6.2%), or an older sibling (4.6%), if they are beaten at all (18.3% report that no one beats them). More than half (54.9%) of children surveyed report that parents or guardians beat them sometimes, 21.9% beat them rarely, however 13.7% are beaten very often, and 7.9% are beaten often. Children from Lower River Division are more likely to be beaten very often (18.4%) than children from Central River Division (14.7%) and children from the Greater Banjul Area (7.4%). In the same vein, more children report being beaten rarely by parents or guardians in the GBA (30.1%) than in LRD (20.9%) and CRD (19.1%). The manner in which family rules are decided has no effect on the frequency of children being beaten by parents or guardians. 23.8% of children who are made aware of family rules by being told by parents are beaten often or very often, whereas 18.5% of children are beaten often or very often when parents discuss rules with them. When children are beaten, one third (34.0%) are beaten all over the body, almost as many are beaten on the back (29.0%); fewer are beaten on the buttocks (20.4%), head (10.4%), or face (6.2%) [Figure 2]. Girls are more likely to be beaten on the face, they make up 62.3% of children who are beaten there, and boys are more likely to be beaten on the buttocks, they make up 60.7% of children beaten there. Sadly, younger children tend to be hit on the face; 4.5% of children 16 to 19 years old, 6.4% of children 13 to 15, 10.3% of children 8 to 12, and 18.2% of children 7 and younger [Figure 3].

Ages of Children Who Reported Being Hit in the Face

20.00% 18.00% 16.00% 14.00% 12.00% 10.00% 8.00% 6.00% 4.00% 2.00% 0.00%

16-19

13-15

8-12

7 and younger

Children's Ages

Figure 3 45.8% of children report that family rules are decided by their parents, while 34.5% say that their parents decide after some discussion with them, 12.9% say that they negotiate rules with parents, 4.7% say that they decide, and 2.1% say that it is decided in some other way.

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86.5% of children feel that family rules have been made clear to them, most of the time it is through the parent telling them (52.4%), and many are made aware through their parents discussing the rules with them. Specific consequences for breaking family rules are not always clear as reported by 18.2% of children; 8.2% of children feel that they have not been made clear. When they do well, 87.4% of children say that they receive praise or rewards from teachers, and 89.5% say that they receive the same at home. Attitudes Regarding Corporal Punishment 49.9% of children believe or strongly believe that there is no school in The Gambia where corporal punishment is not practiced, while 26.0% do not believe it, and 24.5% are not sure. In regards to the practice of corporal punishment in homes in The Gambia, 45.7% believe or strongly believe that there is no home in which it is not used, 30.0% do not believe this and 24.2% are not sure. 59.4% of children believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment is the only thing that children understand when they disobey, 24.2% do not believe so while 16.5% are not sure. 64.5% of children believe or strongly believe that schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behaviour, whereas 23.4% do not believe that it is needed while 11.9% are not sure. The rationale children have incorporated into their attitudes is that `if they talk to you and you can't understand they use the cane. Maybe you will understand the language of the cane." Another goes further to say "some students if they are not beaten they are not complete human beings." This is countered by another boy, "some people are saying that the only language that we children understand is the stick. No it is not that. If you advise us we the children can understand." 58.4% of children believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment is an effective form of discipline, but 23.2% do not believe that is true while 18.4% are not sure. Two thirds (68.1%) of children feel that teachers are sometimes right in beating their students, and less than a fifth (17.9%) feel that they are always right in doing so. 56.6% of children feel that parents are sometimes right in beating their children, however 27.1% feel that they are always right in beating them. To illustrate this point, one child uses the metaphor, "a bird never puts a bad insect inside the mouth of its young." 74.1% of children believe or strongly believe that the teacher and the student should decide matters of discipline together. 60.4% believe or strongly believe that a child must be beaten in order to learn to perform well in school. Provocation During focus group discussions, children recounted examples of actions that led to the use of corporal punishment, either on themselves or anecdotally from other children. Children provoke the use of corporal punishment when they disobey rules and regulations, are late, do not attend school, challenge the teachers, write nonsense letters to teachers or the master, fail to take advice, fight, use foul language, beg from passers -by and even when they do not know the answer to a question in class.

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Sadly, boys and girls are punished sometimes for simply doing childish things. By virtue of their immaturity, inexperience, and the course of development, the actions of children will demonstrate these facts and this process. As one child laments, "We are children. At times we behave childish." Ironically, this apparent reality is lucid to children, yet manages to cloud the judgement of adults who inflict physical force on the m. Consequences 46.5% of children sustained injuries during one of their beatings or punishment, 30.5% of the time it is in the form of bruises, 18.6% it is in cuts, and 4.6% said some other form. Shockingly, 24.4% sustained internal bleeding, 12.4% had a tooth knocked out, and 9.5% had an arm dislocated or fractured [Figure 4]. No great difference exists in the injuries sustained between boys and girls. Children in the Greater Banjul Area are more likely to sustain bruises (53.8%) than children in LRD (21.8%) and CRD (27.9%)combined. However, they are less likely to have a tooth knocked out (GBA=7.5%, LRD=11.8%, CRD=14.1%), half as likely to suffer internal bleeding (GBA=12.9%, LRD=27.7%, CCRD=26.0%), and a fifth less likely to have an arm dislocated or fractured (GBA=2.2%, LRD=10.9%, CRD=10.9%). When children are beaten by their guardian, they are twice as likely to sustain an injury (8.7% versus 4.4%).

Injuries Sustained By Children

24.4%

18.6%

30.5% 12.4% 9.5%

4.6%

Bruises Cuts Had an Arm Dislocated or Fractured

Internal Bleeding Had a Tooth Knocked Out Other

Figure 4 When children are beaten, 52.8% feel very bad, 22.4% feel bad, and almost as many (18.2%) feel good while 5.8% do not know how they feel. One girl articulated, "Really I feel corporal punishment is one of the most painful things. I feel very bad when I am punished. If they beat me when I am among my colleagues I feel very sad and ashamed." One boy revealed, "I feel bad up to the extent 24

that I ask myself why I am alive." Another student discloses the anger and vengeance he feels after being corporally punished, "my intention or wish is to take a big stone and smash the head of that teacher if I meet him in the village." The gravity of these feelings is serious as it may lead children to do some very serious things. 40.0% of children have at some time decided not to go to school for fear of being beaten or punished by a teacher. 46.7% of children know of another child who left school because of corporal punishment or fear of a teacher. A boy relates, "If you a teacher beats a student it will make you not to learn again. Students run away from school when the y are beaten at school. They go home and never come back to school again. That is not a good sign." One student told this story: "I met a boy who caused a problem and he was beaten until he defecated on himself, and then ran away. He was so shy. The boy ran away from school for months. He did not come back to school." 58.3% of children think that corporal punishment can have serious or negative effects on their ability to learn and concentrate in class, 23.7% do not think so, while 17.9% are not sure. One student articulate this feeling: "When sitting in class even if the teacher is teaching I will not even concentrate simply because I am just from punishment." Another boy said "sometimes if they beat you, you cannot even write with a pen. You just sit there." The frequency of which students are beaten by their teachers does not have an effect on their opinion. 67.7% of children believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment can seriously destroy a teacher's relationship with a student. As one student sees it, "when everyday we are corporally punished at times we might in fact hate such teachers even whereas they are the teachers who are teaching us. The moment we see them we might not have the concept of listening but instead we will be thinking of other things because they are fond of giving us very difficult punishment... if you hate your teacher, definitely you must hate the subject." 69.8% of children believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment makes children fear their teachers or parents instead of respecting them. As one child put it, corporal punishment "brings misunderstanding between teachers and their students or parents and their children... it makes children to be afraid of their teachers or parents and that is not good. Another consequence for beating is put forth by one student, "at times if you punish me in a way in which you should not punish me or you punish me of something that does not worth it, it would make me to be stubborn... I will do more than you to show that you are punishing me, but I will leave you with the Almighty Allah as I cannot do anything against it. But then I will not also stop what I am doing especially if I feel that what I am doing is right... At times it can change the way you behave if you are behaving badly. At times it can in fact make you to be worse." If they become teachers, 50.4% will not beat their students. Whether corporal punishment is practiced in students' schools does not influence their decision to beat or not beat students if they become teachers. 37.6% of students that are subjected to beatings and other punishments will beat their students if they become teachers, contrasting the 7.2% who were not subjected to beatings or other punishments in school [Figure 5].

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Children Who Reported That They Will Beat Their Students If They Become Teachers

40.0% 30.0% 37.6% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 7.2% Subjected to Beatings Not Subjected to Beatings

Figure 5 After children are corporally punished, a third (33.2%) refuse to eat, a quarter (23.4%) will cry all day, a fifth (19.2%) will not talk to their parent/guardian, almost as many (18.5%) will abandon home for a while 5.7% will react in some other way. Girls are twice as likely to cry all day (30.3%) than boys (15.2%), while boys are more likely to abandon home for a while ­ 23.7% of boys usually react in this way while only 14.1% of girls will do the same. 52.9% of children know of another child who ran away from home because of corporal punishment or for fear of their parent or guardian. 52.0% of children say that they will beat their children when they grow up, this is equally true for boys and girls. More children who are beaten by parents or guardians at home say that they will beat their children (60.6%) as opposed to children who are not (36.7%) [Figure 6]. Alternatives By far, in schools the non-corporal punishment students are subjected to most is to kneel down (40.6%), followed by cleaning the classroom (18.8%), doing the monkey dance (16.0%), detention (12.2%), picking the pin (6.9%), and other forms (5.5%). The types of punishments used are consistent in lower basic schools, upper basic schools, and senior secondary schools. Children going to school in the Greater Banjul Area are forced to kneel down more (66.9%) than the proportion of children forced to do the same in LRD (28.1%) and CRD (35.6%) combined. At home, parents or guardians force children to sit in one place (36.7%), wash bowls and cooking pots (23.2%), clean their rooms (22.8%), get locked in a room (8.7%) or some other method of punishment (8.1%). One child reported that "sometimes my parents will not give me any food or they will send me out of the compound."

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Punishments that involve cleaning are used on girls more often than on boys; girls make up 61.1% of children who have to clean their rooms, and 84.1% of children who are made to wash bowls and cooking pots. Boys on the other hand, are 61.7% of those who are forced to sit in one place. Younger children tend to be made to clean their rooms; 21.5% of 16 to 19 year olds, 21.9% of 13 to 15 year olds, 29.7% of 8 to 12 year olds, and 36.4% of those 7 and younger. Washing bowls and cooking pots is a punishment used more on younger children as well; 20.6% of 16-19 year olds, 24.1% of 13 to 15 year olds, 32.4% of 8 to 12 year olds, and 45.5% of children 7 years and below. Older children are more likely to be forced to sit in one place; 9.1% of children 7 years old and younger, 28.4% of children 8 to 12, 36.9% of children 13 to 15, and 38.8% of children 16 to 19 years old. Other alternatives mentioned by children during focus group discussions include being made to do gardening, sweeping the schoolyard, and one boy reported that "when we litter papers in the school environment, they do ask us to pick them with our tongues." Parents also punish their children by sending them out of the compound, which puts them at risk of other forms of abuse. One girl points out, "if I do something wrong and my dad sends me out, especially if it is at night, and something should happen to me, well I am responsible but my father is responsible too... do you know where I will spend the night? You will not know." When a child told the focus group that he was asked to sleep on the ground in his uniform however, this invoked another girl to protest indignantly, "how can you ask a student who is from home, you don't know how that student or the parents of that student managed to get the soap to wash their uniform? How can you ask such a student to lie or sleep on the ground? It is not a civilized way of punishing a student... there are many other methods of punishment that people are using in schools in a different way."

Children Who Report That They Will Beat Their Children

70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Beaten by Parents or Guardians Not Beaten by Parents or Guardians 60.6% 36.7%

Figure 6 27

As an alternative to corporal punishment, a boy suggested, "the principal sends you home to go and call your parents. The principal also talks to your parents about what you have done in the school here. So then your parents will know what to do." Another suggests that teachers can "suspend you more than two or three days. If you don't come to school and you want to learn, you will feel ashamed." One girl advocates that teachers "talk to students. We are just brothers and students to teachers. So face us. Speak to us. No human being is a donkey." Abolishment 64.6% of children feel that that corporal punishment should be banned from schools, and 63.9% feel that corporal punishment should be banned in homes or families. Recommendations 30.3% of children think that only legal reform is an effective way to end the corporal punishment of children, 24.9% feel that only public sensitization is effective, while 23.6% say that their combination will be most effective and 20.1% do not know. Teacher's Perceptions Understanding of Corporal Punishment and Child Rights One teacher seemed to have a rough grasp by defining corporal punishment as "any kind of punishment which will involve the child to suffer like beating, kneeling down." His colleague however, defined corporal punishment as "any punishment that will not lead to the progress of the child. But beating that leads to the progress of the child is not corporal." One teacher believed that corporal punishment is "the use of punishment that can cause a harm on a child with the intention of doing it. But sometimes we the teachers may not intend to punish in order to wound. We only do it to rectify the students." Misconceptions of corporal punishment, especially as it relates to child rights, are extremely pervasive. As one teacher put it, "the whole issue of this corporal punishment sometimes when you look at it you can make a conclusion that children, as far as they are concerned, or as far as child rights is concerned, they should not even be disturbed. No teacher should talk to them, nobody should even interfere with their private business... we cannot see them blundering and leave them like that." Unfortunately, when teachers are given training on alternatives to corporal punishment and child rights, it is poorly transmitted to their colleagues, leading to more misconceptions. As one teacher saw it, "when teachers go and attend these workshops on child rights, when they come back, I don't know whether it is because of the money that is given to them or what, but sometimes they don't put the right message into these children. Can you imagine a teacher attended a workshop and then came and said `anyway, we attended a workshop and they say no teacher should beat.' So we cannot understand. Sometimes it is even confusing, this whole idea of corporal punishment, whether they are saying no corporal punishment at all or a specific corporal punishment." The teachers recognize the misconception of child rights by students. "We, the teachers, will be in trouble because of the misconceptions about child rights. Because of the misconceptions some of them will come with knives and guns to stab or kill. This is not a right but they are taking the misconceptions." This in turn fuels the antagonistic view of child rights in general, so much so that 28

it has been attributed to the degradation of the education system and society on a whole. "One of the reasons why standards are on the ground now is because children are becoming aware of their rights." Another teacher preaches, "the problem here is, these children are told about these child rights. This has brought in more trouble than good in society." Unfortunately, only one teacher said, "I think we need to have more sensitization and orientation on what is the right of the child." Discipline and Incidences 66.5% of teachers feel that the discipline of children is a problem in their schools although only 45.6% feel that discipline is poor or very poor. The impression of children's discipline in school remains proportionally consistent in each category of school. A teacher at Bansang Upper Basic School stated, "the level of discipline within the students in this school in particular is not the least satisfactory. That is why we the teachers are emphasizing on corporal punishment. The punishment of these children is making them to be moulded in a good way." One teacher attributes the indiscipline seen in schools to the home situation. In his view, "this is something we must trace from the home. Everything starts from the homes... These children come from homes and transport their disrespect to the schools. So it is the same thing that continues, from the school back to the home. It is a chain. The parents have failed in their responsibilities." Generally, the higher the level of the school, the more students are in a class. The Greater Banjul Area also houses larger class sizes than in LRD or CRD, which is not surprising considering the greater population density of the urban areas.

Teachers Who Would Use Corporal Punishment

70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Kindergarten Lower Basic Upper Basic Senior Secondary

Teaching Level

Figure 7 Teachers who work in Central River Division, are more likely to feel that discipline is a problem in their schools (74.2%, LRD=57.8%, GBA=62.7%). The majority of teachers who report that corporal punishment is practiced in their schools (54.7%) work in CRD. These same teachers also report beating their students often or very often (38.1%) more than teachers in LRD (22.2%) and teachers 29

in the GBA (15.5%). These findings are of particular interest considering that children who attend school in Central River Division are more likely to report that discipline is not a problem at their schools than children of other regions. Whether student's perceptions are due to the greater number of teachers who beat and higher frequency cannot be concluded. 49.8% of teachers responded that corporal punishment is practiced in their schools. The proportion of teachers who report the practice of corporal punishment in their schools is rather equal except 61.3% of teacher report that it is not practiced in senior secondary schools. 57.9% of teachers would use corporal punishment on their students with virtually no sex difference in their response (M=58.8%, F=55.2%). Whether teachers had a child going to school had no effect either. There is a trend as the level of school gets higher for teachers to say that they would use corporal punishment on their students: 50.0% for kindergarten teachers, 54.3% for lower basic teachers, 59.2% for upper basic teachers, and 64.5% for senior secondary teachers [Figure 7]. Though not a clear trend regarding class size, teachers of classes of over 60 students are most likely to use corporal punishment on their students, a result which may be influence by class sizes in relation to the level of the education institution. Only 7.6% of teachers reported not using beatings or other punishments.

Teachers Who Report Using Corporal Punishment Often or Very Often

90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Senior Secondary Upper Basic Lower Basic Kindergarten

Teaching Level

Figure 8 The instrument used to beat students is predominantly the cane (82.3%), 4.0% of teachers used any implement or object at hand, while the ruler (7.4%) and belt (6.3%) were rarely used. Male teachers tend to use either the cane or belt (92.5%) while only 76.2% of female teachers chose the cane and none would use the belt. Female teachers however, were five times more likely to use the ruler (M=3.8%, F=19.0%). The high use of the cane is consistent for all levels of teaching, while the use of the ruler is chosen by more teachers of kindergarten (20.0%) and senior secondary schools (18.8%) than teachers of lower basic schools (10.6%) and teachers of upper basic schools (2.3%). Also, more teachers (82.3%) report using the cane than students report

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being beaten by it (59.9%), while the use of implements or objects at hand are reported by more students (22.0%) than teachers (4.0%). 72.5% of teachers reported beating students rarely. 17.4% reported doing so often and 9.0% very often. More female teachers beat their students often or very often (36.0%) than male teachers (22.2%). Corporal punishment tends to be used more often as the level of school decreases; 27.3% of senior secondary school teachers report using corporal punishment often or very often, 17.5% of upper basic school teachers, 33.8% of lower basic school teachers, and disturbingly 80.0% of kindergarten teachers [Figure 8]. Although teachers of classes of over 60 students are more ready to say that they would use corporal punishment, these same teachers say that they beat students rarely more than teachers of smaller class sizes. 97.0% of teachers were beaten when they were students. 58.9% of teachers who were beaten as a student would use corporal punishment on their students, whereas 71.4% of teachers who were not beaten as students would in turn not beat their students [Figure 9]. The greater strength of the relationship between teachers who were not beaten and would not beat than those who would beat and were beaten is encouraging. This suggests that not being beaten has a greater effect on maintaining a pattern of behaviour than being beaten. Also, if students can be prevented from being beaten, the greater probability that if they became teachers, they would not beat their students.

Teachers Who Would Use Corporal Punishment

80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% 58.9% 71.4%

Beaten As a Student

Not Beaten As a Student

Figure 9 46.8% of teachers reported school rules are decided by school administration (PTA), 39.2% said that it was by the head teacher after some discussion with staff, 8.4% of teacher reported that rules are negotiated by the head teacher and school prefects/councillors, 1.5% said that school council decides, while 4.2% said that it was decided by some other method. In the Brikamaba Upper Basic School focus group, one teacher reported, "in our school here, we are highly organized. There is a committee in charge of discipline. We call it the disciplinary committee. One of the achievements that we have made so far is that we have been able to come

31

out with a constitution guiding the conduct of the students in the school... Students were not involved in the preparation of that constitution." Almost all teachers (93.8%) said that the school rules were made clear for the students. Half of the time (51.6%) it is through the teacher telling the students, about equal proportion are by displaying the rules on charts or on the walls in the school (14.1), on the school notice board (14.8%) or some other way (14.5%); only 5.1% teachers said students were made aware of the rules through the parents telling the students. 14.5% of teachers reported that there are no specific consequences for breaking classroom rules. When there are consequences, only 2.7% of teachers felt that they have not been made clear to students. Nearly all teachers praise or reward students for doing well in class (98.8%). One teacher however, felt that "without negative rewards you cannot also give positive rewards." Attitudes Regarding Corporal Punishment An equal proportion of teachers considered corporal punishment humiliating for students than not at 49.6% for both. During a focus group discussion, one teacher iterated, "punishment is not a humiliation or degradation; I see it as a correction of the situation." Teachers feel that as "a student, you are there to be told what is better for you, because students most of them do not know what is good and what is bad for them." 54.8% do not believe that corporal punishment conveys the message that the stronger and older person has the right to corporally punish the younger and weaker person. Rather it is, as a teacher explained, a reflection of care. "...In some areas discipline is thoroughly maintained. For example parents beat their children as much as possible. That is just geared towards the maintaining of discipline among them. But in other places again it is a loose thing because people don't care about each other." The cultural foundation for corporal punishment is deeply set and considered to be synonymous with discipline. This is demonstrated as one teacher noted, "there is a saying in Wollof that if you do not discipline a child, he/she won't be disciplined." Another teacher defends the use of corporal punishment through a cultural lens thusly: "in our African context, beating is the number one priority because that it is the quickest way of dealing with someone if he does wrong. Yes, that is our African Context. Beating is one of the fundamentals of maintaining discipline among children." From the religious perspective, a Quaranic teacher says, "Even in Islam, Allah who creates us, punishes us... Allah has laid down punishment so that we would remember the consequences when we want to commit a bad deed." More teachers believe or strongly believe that fear is a desirable method to be used in controlling the behaviour of students (55.2%) than not. A teacher proudly reported, "The time I was in Bansang all the students fear me... The moment I step at the school gate, you see all of them running, entering in the classroom. And that is because of corporal punishment and that is a good effect because they all enter, clean their tables and start reading their books." According to one teacher "when the children don't have that fear, that zeal, in them they do not even pay attention." He was certain that fear is critical to education: 32

If you look at the education system of The Gambia today, some of the reasons why people say standards are falling, the issue of punishment is all a contributor. When we were going to school we used to be punished. We fear our teachers. We fear our teachers for no other reason but because of the corporal punishment levied against us. These children nowadays they do not fear us.... This we feel is degrading the educational system of The Gambia... We must use the cane if the children have to hear us and understand us. Only 21.5% do not believe that corporal punishment is the only thing that students understand when they disobey, while 68.2 believe or strongly believe that it is while 10.3% are not sure. A teacher asserts, "there is no word or advice that you can give these children other than the cane. That is what they can understand." An extremely pervasive attitude is that "there are certain individuals you have to beat them. It is the only thing that can change them." As one teacher put it: "some students cannot understand. Some are donkeys." 80.8% of teachers think that corporal punishment is an effective or very effective discipline strategy. One teacher recognized that, "it cannot help the child in any way to learn but we use it in order to help the child to change in certain behaviours that he or she developed." One teacher said "using the cane on them they will never repeat what they have done before. Therefore, whatever we are telling them here if it is accompanied with corporal punishment, the objective is always attained in that area." Another further expounded that corporal punishment "is helping us to attain the objectives. That is a good way of doing it, even we are proud of that, that we are achieving our objectives." On the contrary, one teacher felt that it not only was ineffective as a discipline aid, corporal punishment also erodes their relationship with students. "That child that you punish so seriously will never forget that. He or she will never forget that and would not think of what led to that punishment but would see you as an enemy forever." This regard for a positive relationship is reflected by the 67.2% of teachers who believe or strongly believe that a student is more likely to respect a teacher who praises, loves, and honours the student. Similarly, one teacher acknowledged, "strong advice is more effective than a stick. But you know what causes all these problems? Sometimes the teacher will be in such a mood and in fact sometimes what a child will do to a teacher will provoke him to such an extent that you will not be able to control your temper at that moment." Worst than using corporal punishment out of anger, is the use of corporal punishment for inappropriate personal reasons. "At times some teachers punish because they are pushing and pulling with a child on one girlfriend. You love the girl and the student loves that particular girl." Another perverse rationale for applying corporal punishment is with "these big, big girls. If you want to call and advise them, once you call one girl they will start saying this is his girlfriend. But if you punish them they will know this one has no connection." Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of teacher (57.7%) believe or strongly believe that matters of discipline should be decided by the teacher and student together, but 34.4% of teachers do not believe so, and 8% are not sure. "Sometimes classroom rules can also do well. Because if you

33

agree upon, maybe with the whole class, you agree on some rules and you abide by those rules. For sure it would help a lot." Provocation Various acts provoke teachers to use corporal punishment on children. These include acting out in class, lateness, absenteeism, fighting, stealing, and bleaching. Generally, actions that display "disrespect towards parents or maybe doing acts that are evil or that bring in negative consequences in our society" Unfortunately, corporal punishment is used for seemingly minor circumstances as well. One teacher recalls, "when I was at the Lower Basic, our principal's felt pen got lost. So what he did was he gathered the whole school and started caning everyone. He said the felt pen must be out or he would punish the whole school. We were not able to find it because if you don't have something you cannot produce it. So he decided to punish everybody." Consequences Teachers who felt bad or very bad after corporally punishing students made up 71.0%. The general feeling is, "nobody likes to punish but conditions force us to do it. But we really feel bad to punish them because we feel if we are put under the same conditions we are going to feel the pain." One teacher even confessed, "I feel ashamed and I also feel psychologically disturbed." Despite the negative feelings as an immediate result of using corporal punishment, it continues to be used because, "if the individual changes, you feel happy that you have achieved something." What does not seem to be understood however, is that the change desired can be brought about in less harmful ways which do not inherit such serious consequences. Teachers are split those who believe that corporal punishment can have serious and negative impact on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class (44.5%) and those who do not (42.2%); 12.5% are not sure. One teacher deliberately does not beat while he is teaching in class, "I know that if I start beating there are some children in the class who easily get frightened. Whenever I start using the stick they will not learn again. At that time I don't beat whenever I am teaching in class. But for example to maintaining the children within the school and maybe to punish them based on the bad things that they have done, for example fighting and insulting and so forth, in that case I punish them; I beat." Long -term consequences are a major concern. From the felt-pen incident mentioned above, a student "vowed not to come back to school again. So that was the reason why that girl dropped out." Alternatives Half of teachers would punish their students by having them kneel down (51.0%), 21.9% would have students clean the classroom, 11.3% would use detention, 4.9% would have students do the monkey dance, 2.0% would have students pick the pin, and 8.9% would use other punishments [Figure 10]. Sadly, one teacher believed, "I don't think we can have a better method or device than the stick."

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Types of Punishments Used by Teachers Other Than Beating

4.9% 11.3% 2.0% 8.9%

21.9%

51.0%

Kneel Down

Clean the Classroom

Detention

Monkey dance

Pick the Pin

Other

Figure 10 According to teachers In Brikamaba Upper Basic School, three or four years ago some VSO and Peace Corps volunteers "tried to put up their own form of western idea of this corporal punishment." After students allegedly started bringing knives to school and school property was destroyed, teachers concluded, "there was no proper way of disciplining them because we were following this Peace Corps and VSO ways of Western ideology. But since the rules and regulation and since we came back to our own native land, mother Africa, there is discipline in this school." Many teachers feel that they do not have alternatives. "When you think of corporal punishment sometimes we even find it very difficult to suggest another alternative because anything you want to think about you feel that it is a corporal punishment. As a result, you are left with nothing absolutely to implement or use. It is a real problem... you cannot even imagine the type of punishment to give these children." This leads teacher to think that corporal punishment "is justifiable because there are no other punishment to give." When his students misbehave, one teacher will "pack and go out since our hands are tied." Teachers' lack of faith and knowledge of alternative methods of discipline, have left many teachers feeling stuck and demoralized. After a teacher was detained by police for punishing a student, "all the teachers said what they would like to do now is to fold their hands, leave students to do whatever they want... if we just leave them, just deliver our lessons in the class and just go out like that is not going to build their morals." In using alternatives, teachers do not want to interfere with the learning process. "most of the time any alternative measure that you want to bring up it has its disadvantages. Like if you want to say a child is disturbing, come out, come and stand in front here, if he or she comes here and no more looking at the blackboard where you are teaching, that is a disadvantage to the child. If you send him or her out of the class, that is the worst of it. He or she is not learning anymore. If you

35

suspend him we call that a great loss. So most of these alternative measures also have disadvantages." As a way around this problem, one teacher offers, "if a student misbehaves in class you should not send that individual out. You can allow the individual to continue with the lessons. After the session there could be many ways to punish that individual. You can even ask the individual to come out either to clean the whole of the classroom block or to come out and pick up papers within the school premises." Abolishment Only 19.4% of teachers think that corporal punishment should be banned in schools and the size of their class does not have a strong effect on their opinion. One teacher who belongs to this minority opinion had this to say: "As a teacher I say corporal punishment should be abolished. It is not the best solution. There are many ways to kill a bird. Corporal punishment cannot make the students to learn. There are other methods we could use such as motivational methods, counselling." The great majority of teachers feel that it is their duty to apply physical force. A comment put forth by one teacher exhibits the righteousness he felt in opposing the abolishment of corporal punishment. Living according to the rules and regulations of the school is a particular training that the child needs to acquire so that at the end of the whole education exercise he becomes a good citizen. I believe teachers are entrusted with a responsibility that is very hard. Therefore, it is even going to be harder if certain blockages are put before teachers in rectifying the lives of the students... if we cry down punishment generally, I think we are not being fair to the students themselves because some of them don't know what they are doing. We are making the work of the teachers more difficult and we are jeopardizing the well being of our nation. To one teacher, abolishing corporal punishment is like "putting somebody among lions and tying his hands and then seizing his gun." He believes that "it is just like helping somebody to be good in the future and you are detained for that particular matter.... So now it simply means teachers come to school, teach but don't discipline...as a teacher it is not our intention to punish just for the sake of punishing... we love them, but I don't know what prompted the system to bring up these things (abolishing corporal punishment). This does not suit our system in any way. It does not suit the African system in any way." The corporal punishment of children in Africa after all, "is what they are used to at home. This is the way they are brought up. So now if... you want to change the system, you are just wasting your time." "If the system is saying no punishment, we fold our hands, sit down, teach, and whether they understand or not is their business." Recommendations 90.7% teachers think that they need training in classroom management and 87.6% think that they need to know positive, non-violent alternative punishments. Ironically, those who beat very often are more likely to think that they do not need training in classroom management (15.4%) as 36

opposed to those who beat often (7.1%) or rarely (8.4%) [Figure 11]. However, those who use corporal punishment often (96.4) or very often (92.9%) are slightly more inclined to think that teachers need to know positive, non-violent alternatives to punishment.

Teachers Who Do Not Feel That They Need Training in Classroom Management

16.0% 14.0% 12.0% 10.0% 8.0% 6.0% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Very Often Often Rarely 7.1% 15.4% 8.4%

Frequency That Teachers Beat Their Students

Figure 11 In line with the attitude that discipline should first be instilled at home, several teachers felt that efforts should first be targeted at parents. One Quaranic teacher posits, "if you look at the corporal punishment now in the Gambian education system, this is creati ng more problems for the teachers because we want to copy western style. In the West they start from the home. Children will be free at home but they will teach them to comply with the laws and to know what is correct and wrong. So from there the child will comply with the laws wherever he is." If this falls short, one teacher feels that he is right to beat. He offered, "Let those NGOs start to teach the parents at home how to control or handle their children at home... When the father fails to control or refuses to beat his children at home, how can you tell me not to beat them?" Another teacher insisted that, the advice from you people should be if you are punishing, punish civilly, punish in a way that will not harm the student...my advice to you people as researchers is let your recommendations be in line with the views of the teachers at large. Otherwise, if you listen to the views of these students and other people there will be a real problem in the education system. Presently the problem we are facing is caused by the absence of this corporal punishment. And in your recommendations please make sure it is in line with the promotion of this punishment but let it be done constructively.

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When pressed with the idea of abolishing corporal punishment however, teachers are able to come up with a host of recommendations. "If corporal punishment should be abolished in school there should be a mechanism in place that will be able to replace that old one. Not necessarily having police man but I think even the PTA members can be involved in disciplinary measures." Another offered, "if we are to at least abolish corporal punishment, we try to bring counselling." A teacher noted, "the book on alternatives to corporal punishment is not circulated to schools and teachers are not being sensitized about that. I think if each and every teacher has it and is very conversant with it I think we will be able to handle students in the right way." Ultimately, teachers are seeking to better the lives of children. It is a by-product of circumstance that corporal punishment continues to be such a difficult issue to tackle. "We all have to work towards a common goal, that is helping this child. Let us try as much as possible to help these children. They are very young. It is extremely difficult to help them because when you are helping somebody and he or she does not recognize that you are helping him or her it becomes extremely difficult and frustrating... and most of the time that is what we have in such situations." Parent's Perceptions Understanding of Corporal Punishment and Child Rights Sadly, misconceptions about child rights are not only rampant, but also always extremely negative. One man in Jangjanbureh said that: "I think this child rights is introduced into our society to fight Islam. A parent cannot even punish, insult, or beat his or her own child. That is eternal suffering or curse for a child... This child rights is a disaster. They don't want us to discipline our children even though the children are doing all sorts of bad things." This sentiment is echoed by another parent, "children are spoilt because of this child rights."

Parents Who Would Use Corporal Punishment

100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% 14.9% Corporally Punished As a Child Not Corporally Punished As a Child 82.4%

Figure 12

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Discipline and Incidences Overall, the perception of the discipline of children in the community is split between good or very good (50.6%) and poor or very poor (49.4%). More males found the discipline of children to be poor or very poor (55%), whereas more females found it to good or very good (60%). When impressions are divided according to area of residence however, interesting differences appear. The ratio between parents who feel the discipline of children is good or very good as opposed to poor or very poor in LRD, CRD, and the GBA are 46.4%:53.5%, 80%:20%, and 54.5%:45.4% respectively. Actually, 54.5% of parents in the Greater Banjul Area felt that children's discipline is good, but none felt that it is very good. This seems to show that either children are less disciplined in Lower River Division, or parents in LRD have a higher standard of discipline whereas the opposite is true for Central River Division.

Parents Who Would Use Corporal Punishment

100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% Belive or Strongly Believe 32.5% Do Not Believe 90.4%

Corporal Punishment is a Normal Method of Child Rearing

Figure 13 The general consensus is that the responsibility to instil discipline begins at home. "Discipline is a collective concern, but parents bear the greater part of the responsibility." The importance of the notion that it is the parent's responsibility to instil discipline is also evident in this father's comment, "before we can discipline children, we the adults have to be disciplined first... it would be very difficult for teachers to educate or teach and discipline children at the same time. I have to discipline my child first before I ask a teacher to discipline him or her for me." Similarly, "Parents need to put their children on the straight and narrow so that if they go out and people would not think of beating or doing something to them." Another man notes this failure on the part of parents. "Elders do not have time for all things because of love for money. Once they enrol a child in school that is the end... you leave the child to teachers who also have their limitations. Teachers have obligations towards the children, but parents too have these obligations. But parents have failed in their obligations and that is harming the children." According to a parent, "the discipline of children disappeared when this western education was introduced and intensified. With Western education, the discipline of children went away by force." A father offers his hypothesis for this phenomenon. "if you disregard your customs and traditions, you would follow someone else's. You would not thoroughly understand the custom you have 39

followed and yours would have escaped you... If you want to follow the custom and traditions of the white man, we would only regret it in the future." Underscoring another tangentially related problem, one parent feels that "discipline has faded in school because teachers are falling in love with their students. If teachers fall in love with their students, how can the students respect them?" 82.5% of parents reported that corporal punishment is practiced in their families. 62.1% of parents who do not practice corporal punishment in their families feel that the discipline of children in the community is good or very good, whereas a smaller proportion (48.3%) of parents who do practice corporal punishment feel that children's discipline is good or very good. 88.0% of parents where corporal punishment is practiced believe or strongly believe that it is a normal method of rearing children, whereas only 35.1% of parents where corporal punishment is not practiced think similarly. 92.0% of parents were corporally punished as children themselves. There were no sex differences between those who were beaten as a child (M=91.9%, F=92.0%) and those who were not (M=8.1%, F=8.0%). Almost all parents (98.2%) who would use corporal punishment with their children were corporally punished as a child. Those who were not corporally punished as a child were more than five times more likely not to use corporal punishment on their children (82.4% versus 14.9%) [Figure 12]. This demonstrates the long-term effect and high tendency of corporal punishment to be transmitted to the next generation. The use of corporal punishment is a steadfast cycle that will require great efforts in order to break it. When children are not beaten however, it will also be likely that that behaviour is not passed on. Of the 78.8% that said that they would use corporal punishment with their children; there were no sex differences between those who said they would (M=77.9%, F=80%), and those who would not (M=20.7%, F=20%). Interestingly, 55% of parents in Central River Division said that they would not, but 61.9% of parents in the Greater Banjul Area would. 84.6% of parents in Lower River Division said that they would use corporal punishment, further raising the concern for children in this division. 90.4% of parents who would use corporal punishment believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment is a normal method of child rearing, however only 32.5% of those who do not believe that corporal punishment is a normal method of child rearing would use it [Figure 13].

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Parents who Report Beting their Children Often or Very Often

40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%

Parents Decide the Rules Parents Decide the Rules after some Discussion with Children

38.9%

11.5%

Figure 14 Although only 12.4% of parents said they do not beat their children nor subject them to other punishments, more males than females did so (M=14.0%, F=9.6%). Those who were not corporally punished as children were almost five times more likely to make up this small population. This also demonstrates the effects of not being subjected to corporal punishment on the next generation.

Parents who Report Beating thier Children Often or Very Often

80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%

80.0% 40.6% 20.7% All Rules Some Rules Not Clear

Consequences Have Been Made Clear

Figure 15 At 58.5%, the most popular instrument at used to beat a child is the cane (M=60%, F=56.7%). Next most used by men is the belt (21.5%, F=8.3%) whereas the next most popular for females are any implement of object at hand (33.3%, M=14.6%).

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Alarmingly, almost a quarter of parents said that they beat their children very often (22.9%). There were no great sex differences in frequency of beating, however women were more likely to respond sometimes (M=40.6%, F=46.6%) rather than rarely (M=26.6%, F=19.9%). All those who reported beating their children very often were beaten as a child. 77% of parents decide on the family rules without the involvement of children. Tellingly, 38.9% of parents who decide the rules report beating their children often or very often, where as only 11.5% of parents who decide family rules after some discussion with children report being their children often or very often [Figure 14]. 90.1% of parents feel that family rules have been made clear to children, 65.6% whom made children aware of these rules by telling them. 28.5% of parents who told children the family rules reportedly beat their children very often, as opposed to only 10.9% of parents who discussed family rules with their children. 91.5% of all or some rules have specific consequences if they are broken, almost all (97.4%) of which have been made clear. When consequences have been made clear for some rules, 20.7% of parents report beating their children often or very often. 40.6% of parents report beating their children often or very often when consequences have been made clear for all rules. When consequences are not made clear however, 80% parents report beating their children often or very often [Figure 15]. 79.1% of parents praise or reward children at home for good work. 28.5% of parents who praise or reward children for good work at home rarely beat their children, compared to the 9.8% of parents who do not praise or reward their children [Figure 16]. Attitudes Regarding Corporal Punishment 78.8% of parents believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment is a normal method of child rearing. Only 5.1% more women than men do not believe that it is (M=17.6%, F=22.7%). 52.9% of parents who were not beaten as children do not believe that corporal punishment is a normal method of child rearing, more than three times (16.3%) those who were beaten as children [Figure 17]. This sentiment is clearly articulated by a parent in Jangjanbureh; "I beat my children. Every parents beats his or her child." 67.9% of parents believe or strongly believe that children should be severely beaten in cases of gross misbehaviour. This is not surprising as 80.2% of parents feel that corporal punishment is an effective or very effective discipline strategy. However, 59.6% of parents do not believe that locking or tying up children is a good form of punishment. Yet, one focus group discussant conveyed the minority view: "A heavy beating makes a child a donkey. If a child is used to beating he or she would no longer be afraid. But if a child is disrespectful or rude I give you difficult punishments. I will refuse you food or lock you up in the room and would not let you go out."

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Parents who Rarely Beat thier Children

30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0%

28.5% 9.8% Do Do Not

Praise or Reward Children for Good Work at Home

Figure 16 Almost all parents (93.4%) believe that they are usually right in beating or punishing their children. 69.1% of parents believe or strongly believe that corporal punishment is the only thing children understand when they disobey. This attitude is captured by a father's comment, "talking cannot discipline a child. Empty words are merely statements the child would not hear. It is like pouring or sprinkling water on a stone. It only runs and stops. A child does not fear Allah but fear the stick. A child will not be disciplined if you don't use the stick. The stick is the only thing children understand." When asked if a child should be afraid of you if he or she is to respect and honour you, 67.8% parents said they believe or strongly believe that statement. From the perspective of a father in Jangjanbureh, "if you are merciful towards the child you would not be able to control him or her. He would go and destroy his life and future." Parents seem to feel that without guidance, children will naturally tend to do things that are not good for themselves or society: "wherever a child goes, he destroys unless he or she is controlled." 90.5% of parents feel that teachers are either sometimes or always right in beating their students; these inclinations are not affected by whether the parent has a child going to school. 65.8% of parents believe or strongly believe that a child must suffer in order to learn or perform well in school. As one father put it, "if you want blessing in whatever work, trade, or profession you do, then beating must be an integral part of it." This may explain why 79.4% of parents believe or strongly believe that schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behaviour among students.

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Do Not Believe that Corporal Punishment is a Normal Method of Child Rearing

60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Beaten as Children 52.9% 16.3% Not Beaten as Children

Figure 17 Consequences More than two thirds of parents reported feeling bad or very bad after corporally punishing their children (68.9%). More women than men felt this way (M=61.7%, F=81.5%) and twice as many men said that they felt good after corporally punishing their children (M=34.1%, F=16.9%). Only a small percentage of parents felt that corporal punishment could have serious negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class (54.0% as opposed to 41.3% of those who did not). Similarly, only little more than half of parents (56.5%) considered corporal punishment humiliating for children. One man in Jangjanbureh however, did feel that "beating can make a person either confused and terrified, or stubborn and hardened."

Parents who Believe that Corporal Punishment Should be Banned in Schools

80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% Would Not Use Corporal Punishment 65.1% 12.0% Would Use Corporal Punishment

Figure 18

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Alternatives Of the kinds of punishments used other than beating, 46.1% of parents forced children to sit in one place, while 17.4% would lock children in a room, 13.2% would make children wash bowls and cooking pots, 6.6% would make children clean their rooms, and 16.8% would use other forms of punishments. One parent recognizes the benefit of fostering dialogue, between parents and children, as well as with government. "Advice can also discipline a child... It is very rare for you to see a child and the parent discussing and talking about the things that would benefit the child in the future. Only very few parents do that... so it seems everybody is neglectful or indifferent ­ the government, parents, and children. And it is these parties that can cooperate to discipline children.

Parents who Believe that Corporal Punishment Should be Banned in Homes/Families

80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% Would Not Use Corporal Punishment 66.7% 7.8% Would Use Corporal Punishment

Figure 19 Abolishment 78.2% of parents feel that corporal punishment should not be banned in homes or families. Similarly, three quarters of parents (76.9%) believe that corporal punishment should not be banned in schools. The conviction of this perspective can be seen in a parent's proclamation, "Let us all cooperate and build the society. We can do that by disciplining the children. Let us not even think of abolishing corporal punishment." Only 19.9% of those who have children going to school feel that corporal punishment should be banned in schools versus 37.1% of those who do not. Predictably, 88.0% of those who would use corporal punishment on their children do not think that corporal punishment should be banned in schools. Those who would not use corporal punishment on their children are more than five times more likely to have the opinion that corporal punishment should be banned in schools (65.1% as opposed to 12.0%) [Figure 18] . As the numbers of those who do not use corporal punishment grow, so should the numbers of those who support its abolishment. Two thirds of those who would not use corporal punishment on their children (66.7%) think that corporal punishment should be banned in homes/families, eight times more than those who would use corporal punishment (7.8%) [Figure 19]. Although how a parent feels when he/she corporally 45

punishes a child is not a good predictor of whether corporal punishment should be banned in schools, it seems to influence opinions about the home. 23.0% of parents who feel very bad after using corporal punishment feel that it should be banned in homes or families, only 8% of those who feel good after using corporal punishment agree [Figure 20].

Parents who Believe that Corporal Punishment should be Banned in Homes/Families

25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Feel Very Bad 8.0% Feel Good 23.0%

After Using Corporal Punishment on their Children

Figure 20 Parents are so steadfast in their belief of corporal punishment that they cannot consider abolishment. "In my opinion and considering the way you people have defined it, it will be very difficult to have alternatives... as I see it, since it would be hard to be eradicated, we should make corporal punishment light and not make it harsh or severe on children. Eradicating corporal punishment within our communities will be very difficult." Another parent is certain, "The only thing we can do is to sensitize people to ensure the punishments are light, to beat in such a way that he or she is not harmed." Recommendations The necessity of increasing equality between mothers and fathers as being pivotal in disciplining children is expressed by two fathers in different discussion groups. One warns, "As we progress, women cannot be the only disciplinarians. Both men and women have to support each other and discipline the children." Another parent states, "Discipline of children is the responsibility of both the mother and the father. If there is understanding and cooperation between the parents, the child will listen to their advice. But if there is always discrepancy or conflict between what the mother and father tells them, the disciplining of children would be very difficult."

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47

RECOMMENDATIONS

Working from the perspective of child rights, strategies aimed at abolishing corporal punishment should take into account what human rights treaty bodies have urged. Committee on the Rights of the Child39 The Committee expresses grave concern that corporal punishment is still practised and accepted in schools, families, and care and juvenile detention institutions, and as a punishment in the penal system. The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment as a penal sanction within the juvenile justice system, in schools and care institutions as well as in families. The Committee encourages the State party to reinforce its public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory, nonviolent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society. Generally, their comments are in line with and support the recommendations of this report. In essence, advocating for child rights encourages the advocacy of ending corporal punishment, and vice versa. This relationship can be fostered through the ensuing recommendations: 1. Adopt a Zero-Tolerance Stance In abolishing corporal punishme nt, it is necessary to take a zero -tolerance stance. To attempt to draw an imaginary line only generates a grey-zone. The slippery slope of "reasonable chastisement" makes it easy to move from one end of the spectrum to the other, but it holds restrains us from protecting a child's physical integrity. The ambiguity of what is considered acceptable or proportionate force is already a subject that has been fruitlessly debated. This issue will never be resolved and the process moves us no closer to fully protecting children from the violence we inflict upon them. As previous empirical studies have shown, what begins as "reasonable" well-meaning physical force has the risk of escalating, at times beyond a point where even a person who cares for the child can clearly gauge the damage they are inflicting. "In the legal, social and educational reality in which we live, we cannot leave open the definition of `reasonable' and thus comprises at the risk of danger to the health and welfare of society... an exception for `light' violence is likely to degenerate into more serious violence. We cannot endanger the bodily and mental integrity of the minor with any type of corporal punishment"40 Although it is imperative that caregivers are taught and encouraged to use non-violent methods of discipline, the message about not using corporal punishment must be clear. By not being explicit about not using physical force, it still leaves room for its application. Even those who do not agree with the employment of corporal punishment still reserve it as a "last resort." Caregivers, especially when they are angry or frustrated, tend digress to the use of corporal punishment if they allow themselves. Without a commitment to never corporally punishing children, caregivers allow themselves the leniency to revert, excusing themselves by reasoning that the child drove them beat. Communicating an unambiguous message about never applying corporal punishment increases the chances that parents who reject of physical force will follow through on their beliefs. 48

In any case, `light' physical force would not be tolerated against women, the elderly, or the disabled; it would not be acceptable, for example, to slap one's wife `to make her better' or `because you love her'. Zero-tolerance is taken concerning violence against other members of society and yet the smallest and most vulnerable group can be considered an exception. The irony of this inequality should explicate that everyone, especially children, has the right to respect for his or her human dignity. "To prohibit any form of corporal punishment of children is an important measure for the education of the population in this respect in that it gives a clear message about what society considers to be acceptable. It is a measure that avoids discussions and concerns as to where the borderline would be between what might be acceptable corporal punishment and what is not."41 2. Reform Pertinent Laws One of the first steps in abolishing corporal punishment is to remove any legal defences that excuse the use of corporal punishment and fail to provide children with equal protection under the law. In a traditional society such as that of The Gambia, people feel threatened by attempts to change the status quo, especially when the change is perceived to be emanating from Western ideologies. Therefore, legal reform must take place, not to criminalize behaviour as a threat to bring about change, but to demonstrate the necessity for a change in attitude. Another purpose of law reform is to legally recognize children's rights to human dignity and integrity. Fundamentally, stipulating the position of the state against corporal punishment is to follow through on the government's commitment to uphold the rights of the child. In fulfilling their obligation to fully accord children their right to protection from violence, the state is at last giving children their due equality. The English common law defence for "reasonable chastisement" must be removed. Instead, it should be replaced with a clear assertion that all forms of physical force used against a child are unacceptable and inexcusable in any setting. The law will act as a referential foundation on which to change existing policies that sanction the use of corporal punishment. This must be made clear as it pertains to educational institutions, the juvenile justice system, and within the community. The real purpose of law is education and deterrence to achieve protection, not prosecution; prosecuting caregivers or dividing families would hardly be in the best interest of the child. Prosecution is a sign that the law has failed to effectively deter and prevent a child from being abused. Amending laws set a standard for what is acceptable and what is not, thereby changing popular attitudes. Th e aim is to encourage caregivers to voluntarily engage in positive intervention. Research shows that "parents seek help earlier when they recognize that hurting their children is socially and legally unacceptable."42 A less intrusive preventive method, this in effect protects children from violence rather than try to repair the damage of corporal punishment. Law amendment thus sets in motion the establishment of services to educate and support caregivers. It is well understood that changes in the law must be accompanied by education about alternative forms of discipline. Without education of alternatives, what was feared might come to pass: those who do not use corporal punishment end up not disciplining children at all. 49

Unfortunately, from the results of our survey, this already seems to be the prevailing modus operandi of many teachers. The subsequent lack of discipline in children will lead people to conclude wrongly that the abolishment of corporal punishment is erroneous, that corporal punishment is effective and necessary Without law reform, the necessity to channel resources to the education of the population on alternatives will be reluctant or ignored, especially in the resource-limited reality of The Gambia. In 1979, Sweden was the first country to enact laws that explicitly prohibited the use of corporal punishment in all settings. This was followed by a national education campaign. Sweden has not experienced "an increase in long-term out-of-home care for children nor a higher rate of prosecution of child physical assault cases. Over recent decades, serious assaults against children have become uncommon, and fatal child abuse has become rare."43 The Swedish case is a testament to the effectiveness of taking a zero -tolerance position. In order to end the use of corporal punishment, there must exist a clear law that enables workers to promote a clear message about the unacceptability of corporal punishment. 3. Sensitize the Public Corporal punishment is a very personal issue evoking feelings of social judgement. Many adults were hit as children and many adults hit children. No one wants to think unfavourably about his or her caregivers, nor do caregivers want to think they have wronged children. Sensitivity and tact must be employed when discussing corporal punishment. It is essential to understand the underlying beliefs and attitudes to children that have allowed adults to justify corporal punishment for so long. In Gambia, there is a pervasive belief that children due to their inexperience and immaturity are not yet fully persons. They are to be seen and not heard. Corporal punishment has been part of Gambian culture and tradition for many generations, passed down through the generations as part of the child-rearing culture. Traditional and some religious defences ultimately perpetrate cultural violence, both of which need to be addressed in sensitization programs. The idea of abolishing corporal punishment needs to be uncoupled from the idea that it is a western notion. Protecting children from all forms of violence is a universal concept, as well as a universal right of the child. The fact that rejecting corporal punishment is simply a logical extension of child protection should be explained. To not hit children is to act in accordance with deeply held and established values of peace, equality, and love. The misunderstanding of Rights and the contentious nature of its place in public opinion suggest that although corporal punishment should be abolished from a child rights perspective, basing sensitization campaigns to abolish corporal punishment from a child rights perspective may be more damaging than contributory. The general apprehension to child rights due to its misunderstanding may produce an effect of "throwing out the baby with the bath water." The abolition of corporal punishment may be seen, as child rights is, as a western notion imposed on a society and culture that thinks it knows how to raise its children better than long held traditions. Instead building the foundations of a sensitization campaign around its negative effects, its ineffectiveness, and its optimistically forthcoming illegal status may be more effective in changing the attitudes and behaviours of the population. 50

Information, education communication materials must explicitly get across the zero-tolerance message. Research has shown that "mothers are less likely to use physical punishment when they are exposed to clear and intense messages from professionals and from the media that discourage its use."44 Until professionals clearly convey a message condemning the use of corporal punishment, coupled with education about alternatives, the contradiction of those who regress to using corporal punishment despite being opposed in principle will continue. 4. Promote Positive Discipline Through the Education of Alternatives Ultimately, we would like for children to internalize morals, monitor their own behaviour, and make deliberated choices of their own accord. We want them to make decisions that keep themselves safe, take into consideration the consequences of their actions, and respect the dignity of others. We should equip children with the knowledge and skills to be confident and competent problem solvers. We want children to become mindful, contributing global citizens not because we beat them into it, but because that's something we all want, including the children themselves. Achieving these aims does not require the use of corporal punishment. In fact, using corporal punishment sends exactly the opposite message. Corporal punishment jeopardizes the safety of children, flies in the face of its consequences, disrespects the human dignity of others, and demonstrates our inability to problem-solve. We do not want children to learn that it is acceptable to take out our frustrations on those who are more vulnerable, that we should use violence as way to influence others, that beating shows we care. "The choices [caregivers] make in disciplinary situations provide powerful models to children of aggression or self-control, retaliation or problem solving, intimidation or communication, bullying or empathy."45 Corporal punishment is at best an ineffective method of teaching appropriate behaviour, and at worst a damaging practice for children mentally, physically and socially. Abolishing corporal punishment is not about replacing one form of punishment with another, but changing the way we think about teaching and instilling discipline. Punishment comes from the perspective of justice and retaliation whereas discipline connotates rectification. Discipline should be viewed as positive process, implanting good discipline ­ which is in due course self-discipline ­ while maintaining a realistic expectation considering children's developmental abilities. We must begin with the belief that children are willing to achieve discipline though might interpret their actions as being otherwise. We must be mindful of the fact that children are children ­ they will behave like children and acting childish. More often than not, they are curious to test borders not determined to cause trouble. We must endeavour to promote and educate the public on positive discipline practices. Without corporal punishment, the hands of caregivers are not tied - alternatives exist. There are many nonviolent forms of discipline that can be taught to parents, teachers and other caregivers. Many resources for maintaining and encouraging discipline can be found for reference (among many other books and manuals, information is readily accessible via www.endcorporalpunishment.com). Upon their presentation to caregivers by trainers of alternative methods, they can all collectively work to tailor these methods to the Gambian context and brainstorm innovative methods to be pursued.

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After caregivers are educated on their alternatives, corporal punishment will cease to be the only option. Hopefully it will also cease to be the preferred option, and more importantly, stricken from being the default option. When the option of corporal punishment is removed once laws are reformed, caregivers will be more ready to explore their legitimate options. Equipping caregivers with positive discipline strategies is not only a necessary complement to abolishing the corporal punishment of children, but also part and parcel of infusing non-violent behaviour changes in the general population.

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APPENDIX I Questionnaires

Questionnaire on Corporal Punishment (Children) Please DO NOT write your name on this questionnaire. Answer all questions as best and as honestly as you can. Put a circle around the number that represents your answer Thank you. Definition of Corporal Punishment For the purpose of this research corporal punishment is defined as any punishment in which physical force is used or intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort to a child. Section 1 Background/Demographics: 1. Are you? Male= 1 2. How old are you? 7 years and below = 1 16-19 years = 4 8-12 years = 2 Over 20 years= 5 13-15 years = 3 Female= 2

3. Are you currently/presently attending school? Yes= 1 If YES go to Question 5 4. Are you learning a trade or profession? Yes= 1 5. What is your level of formal education? No= 2 No= 2

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Lower Basic School= 1 Senior Secondary School= 3

Upper Basic School= 2 Never = 4

6. Do you have any brothers and/or sisters of the same parents? Yes= 1 If No go to Question 9 7. How many brothers do you have? None=0____ 4____ 1___ More than 4= 5_____ 2____ 3____ No= 2

8. How many sisters do you have? None= 0 4______ 1____ More than 4= 5______ 2_____ 3_____

9. Who is the most educated in your family? Myself = 1 Father= 4 My brother(s)= 2 Mother= 5 My sister(s)= 3

10. What is the highest level of education of the most educated in your family? High school= 1 University = 2 None of the two= 3

11. In which region is your school found? Region 4 (LRD)= 1 Region 5 (CRD)= 2 Region 1 (GBA)= 3

12. Is discipline a problem in your school? Yes= 1 No= 2 54 Not sure= 3

13. Is corporal punishment practiced in your school? Yes= 1 No= 2

14. When you grow up will you beat your children? Yes= 1 No= 2

15. If you become a teacher will you beat your students? Yes= 1 No= 2

16. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Matters of discipline should be decided by the teacher and student together." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe = 3 Believe = 2 Not sure= 4

17. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "A child must be beaten in order to learn or perform well in school." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe = 3 Believe = 2 Not sure= 4

18. Does your teacher beat or subject you to other punishments in school? Yes- beating= 1 Yes- beating and other punishments= 3 If No go to Question 22 19. What other punishments does your teacher subject you to in school? Monkey dance= 1 Cleaning the classroom= 2 55 Yes-other punishments= 2 No= 4

Detention after school= 3

Kneeling down= 4

Pick the pin= 5

Other(s) Please specify= 6...................................................................... 20. What does your teacher use to beat you? Ruler = 1 Belt = 3 Cane= 2 Any implement/object at hand= 4

21. How often does your teacher beat you during the month? Very often= 1 Sometimes= 3 Often= 2 Rarely= 4

22. Do your parents/guardian beat or subject you to other punishments at home? Yes- beating= 1 Yes- beating and other punishments= 3 Yes-other punishments= 2 No= 4

23. What other punishments does your parent/guardian subject you to at home? Cleaning the room= 1 Washing the bowls and cooking pots= 3 Forced to sit at one place= 2 Lock in a room= 4

Other(s) Please specify= 6...................................................................... 24. Who often beats you at home? Father = 1 Older sibling= 4 Mother = 2 No one beats me=5 Guardian= 3

25. How often do your parents/guardian beat you in the month? Very often= 1 Often= 2

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Sometimes= 3 Rarely= 4 26. On which part of your body are you usually beaten? Head= 1 Buttocks= 4 Face= 2 All over the body= 5 Back= 3

27. How do you feel when you are punished in this way? Very bad= 1 Good= 3 Bad= 2 Don't know= 4

28. When were you last beaten or punished? 1 week ago = 1 5 months-12 months ago = 4 Cannot remember= 6 29. Did you ever sustain or get any injury during one of your beatings or punishments? Yes= 1 No= 2 Not sure= 3 2-4 weeks ago = 2 1 month-5 months ago= 3

More than 1 year ago= 5

If No or Not sure go to Question 31 30. What did you sustain or get when you were beaten or corporally punished? Bruises= 1 Internal bleeding= 3 Dislocated/fractured arm=5 Other (Please specify) = 6...................................................... 31. Have you at any time decided not to go to school for fear of being beaten or punished by your class teacher or another teacher in your school? Yes= 1 No= 2 Cuts= 2 Knocked out tooth= 4

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32. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "There is no school in the Gambia where corporal punishment is not practiced." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

33. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "There is no home in the Gambia where corporal punishment is not practiced." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

34. How do you usually react when you are (corporally) punished? Do not talk to parent/guardian= 1 Abandon home for a while= 3 Cry all day= 2 Refuse to eat= 4

Other(s) please specify=5...................................................... 35. Do you know of any child who left school because of corporal punishment or fear of the teacher? Yes= 1 No= 2

36. Do you know of any child who ran away from home because of corporal punishment or fear of the parents/guardian? Yes= 1 No= 2

37. Do you think corporal punishment can have any serious or negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Yes= 1 No= 2 Not sure= 3

38. How strongly do you believe the following statement? 58

"Corporal punishment can seriously destroy a teacher's relationship with the student" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

39. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal Punishment makes children fear their teachers or parents instead of respecting them" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

40. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behavior among the students." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 41. How are your school rules decided? The school administration (PTA) decides= 1 Head teacher decides after some discussion with staff= 2 Head teacher and school council (prefects/councillors) negotiate rules= 3 The school council (prefects/councillors) decides= 4 Other (please specify)= 5......................................................... 42. Have the school rules been made clear? Yes= 1 43. How are students made aware of school rules? Through the parents telling the students= 1 59 No= 2 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

Through the teachers telling the students= 2 Rules are displayed on charts or on the walls in the school= 3 Rules are displayed on school notice board= 4 Other (please specify)= 5_____________________________________________ 44. Are there consequences for breaking specific school rules? Yes- for all rules= 1 If No go to Question 46 45. If yes, have these consequences been made clear? Yes- for all rules= 1 Yes-for some rules= 2 No= 3 Yes-for some rules= 2 No= 3

46. How are your family rules decided? The parent decides= 1 Parents decide after some discussion with children= 2 Parents and children negotiate rules= 3 The children decide= 4 Other (please specify)= 5______________________________ 47. Have the family rules been made clear? Yes= 1 48. How are the children made aware of family rules? Through parents' discussion of rules with the children= 1 Through the parent telling the children= 2 Other (please specify)= 3________________________ 60 No= 2

49. Are there specific consequences for breaking specific family rules? Yes- for all rules= 1 If No go Question 51 50. If yes, have these consequences been made clear? Yes- for all rules= 1 Yes-for some rules= 2 No= 3 Yes-for some rules= 2 No= 3

51. Do you get praise or rewards from your teacher for doing well in class? Yes= 1 No= 2

52. Do you get praise or rewards from your parents for good work at home? Yes= 1 No= 2

53. Corporal punishment should be banned in homes/families? Yes= 1 No= 2

54. Corporal punishment should be banned in schools? Yes= 1 No= 2

55. Teachers are usually right in beating or punishing their students? Always= 1 Rarely= 3 Sometimes= 2 Never= 4

56. Parents are usually right in beating or punishing their children? Always= 1 Rarely= 3 Sometimes= 2 Never= 4

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57. Do you think children have a right not to be subjected to punishment which is humiliating and degrading? Yes= 1 58. Do you believe that children have rights? Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4 No= 2

59. What in your opinion is the most effective way to end the corporal punishment of children? Legal reform (changes in the law) only = 1 Public sensitization only = 2 Legal reform and public sensitization= 3 Don't know= 4 Other (Please specify)= 5...................................................... 60. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment is the only thing that children understand when they disobey" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

61. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment is a very ineffective form of discipline" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE 62

Questionnaire on Corporal Punishment (Teachers) Please DO NOT write your name on this questionnaire. Answer all questions as best and as honestly as you can Put a circle around the number that represents your answer Thank you. Definition of Corporal Punishment For the purpose of this research corporal punishment is defined as any punishment in which physical force is used or intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort to a child. 1. Are you? Male=1 2. Which category or level are you teaching? Kindergarten= 1 Upper Basic= 3 3. Are you married? Yes= 1 No= 2 Lower Basic= 2 Senior Secondary = 4 Female= 2

4. Do you have a child who is going to school? Yes= 1 No= 2

5. How many students do you have in your class? 10-24 students= 1 45-59 students= 3 25-44 students= 2 Above 60 students= 4

6. In which region of The Gambia are you teaching? Region 4 (LRD)= 1 Region 5 (CRD)= 2 63 Region 1 (GBA)= 3

7. Is discipline of children a problem in your school? Yes= 1 No= 2 Not sure= 3

8. What is your impression of the discipline of children in your school? Very good=1 Good=2 Very poor= 3 Poor= 4

9. Is corporal punishment practiced in your school? Yes= 1 No= 2

10. Were you beaten when you were a student? Yes= 1 No= 2

11. Would you use corporal punishment on your students? Yes= 1 No= 2

12. Do you beat or subject your students to other punishments? Yes beating= 1 Yes- other punishments= 2 No= 4

Yes- beating and other punishment= 3 If No go to Question 16

13. What other punishments do you subject your student to? Monkey dance=1 Detention after school=3 Cleaning the classroom= 2 Kneeling down= 4 Pick the pin= 5

Other(s) Please specify= 6.......................................................... 14. What do you use to beat your students? Ruler= 1 Cane= 2

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Belt= 3 15. How often do you beat your students? Very often= 1

Any implement/object at hand= 4

Often= 2

Rarely= 3

16. How do you feel when you (corporally) punished your students? Very bad= 1 Bad= 2 Good= 3 Don't know= 4

17. Do you consider corporal punishment humiliating for students? Yes= 1 No= 2

18. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Fear is a desirable method to use in controlling the behaviour of students." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe= 3 Believe= 2 Not sure= 4

19. Do you think corporal punishment can have any serious or negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Yes= 1 No= 2 Not sure= 3

20. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "A student is more likely to respect a teacher who praises, loves and honour him or her" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it= 3 21. How are your school rules decided? The school administration (PTA) decides= 1 Head teacher decides after some discussion with staff= 2 65 Believe it= 2 Not sure= 4

Head teacher and school council (prefects/councillors) negotiate rules= 3 The school council (prefects/councillors) decide= 4 Other (please specify)= 5............................................................... 22. Have the school rules been made clear for the students? Yes= 1 No= 2

23. How are students class made aware of school rules? Through the parents telling the students= 1 Through the teacher telling the student= 2 Rules are displayed on charts or on the walls in the school= 3 Rules are displayed on school notice board=4 Other (please specify)= 5.................................................................... 24. Are there specific consequences for breaking specific classroom rules? Yes- for all rules= 1 No= 3 If No go to Question 26 25. If yes, have these consequences been made clear to the students? Yes- for all rules= 1 No-for some rules= 2 No= 3 Yes-for some rules= 2

26. Do you praise or reward your students for doing well in class? Yes= 1 No= 2

27. In your opinion do you think teachers need training in classroom management? Yes= 1 No= 2 66

28. Do you think teachers need to know the positive, nonviolent alternatives to punishment? Yes= 1 No= 2

29. In your opinion should corporal punishment be banned in schools? Yes= 1 No= 2

30. In your opinion is corporal punishment an effective discipline strategy? Very effective= 1 Very ineffective=3 Effective= 2 Ineffective= 4

31. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment is the only thing that students understand when they disobey." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe= 3 Believe= 2 Not sure= 4

32. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Matters of discipline should be decided by the teacher and student together." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it= 3 Believe it= 2 Not sure= 4

33. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment conveys the message that the stronger and older persons have the right to corporally punished the younger and weaker persons" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it= 3 Believe= 2 Not sure= 4

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE 67

Questionnaire on Corporal Punishment (Parents) Please DO NOT write your name on this questionnaire. Answer all questions as best and as honestly as you can Put a circle around the number that represents your answer Thank you. Definition of Corporal Punishment For the purpose of this research corporal punishment is defined as any punishment in which physical force is used or intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort to a child. 1. Are you? Male= 1 2. Are you married? Yes= 1 No= 2 Female= 2

3. Do you have a child who is going to school? Yes= 1 No= 2

4. What area of The Gambia are you residing? Region 4 (LRD)= 1 Region 5 (CRD)= 2 Region 1 (GBA)=3

5. What is your impression of the discipline of children in your community? Very good= 1 Very poor= 3 6. Is corporal punishment practiced in your family? Yes= 1 No= 2 Good= 2 Poor= 4

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7. Were you beaten or corporally punished when you were a child? Yes= 1 No= 2

8. Would you use corporal punishment with your children? Yes= 1 No= 2

9. Do you beat or subject your children to other punishments? Yes- beating= 1 Yes- beating and other punishment= 3 If No go to Question 14 10. What other punishments do you subject your children to? Cleaning the room= 1 Washing the bowls and cooking pots = 3 Other(s) please specify= 5.................................... 11. What do you use to beat your child? Ruler= 1 Belt= 3 12. How often do you beat your child? Very often= 1 Sometimes = 3 Often= 2 Rarely= 4 Cane= 2 Any implement/object at hand= 4 Forced to sit at one place= 2 Lock in a room= 4 Yes- other punishments= 2 No= 4

13. How do you feel when you (corporally) punished your child? Very bad= 1 Good= 3 Bad= 2 Don't know= 4 69

14. Do you think corporal punishment can have any serious or negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Yes= 1 No= 2 Not sure= 3

15. Do you consider corporal punishment humiliating for children? Yes= 1 No= 2

16. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment is the only thing that children understand when they disobey." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 17. How is your family rules decided? The parents decides= 1 Parents decides after some discussion with children= 2 Parents and children negotiate rules= 3 The children decide= 4 Other (please specify)= 5............................................ 19. Have the family rules been made clear for the children? Yes= 1 No= 2 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

20. How are the children made aware of family rules? Through parents' discussion of rules with the children= 1 Through the parent telling the children= 2 Other (please specify)= 3..............................................................

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21. Are there are specific consequences for breaking specific family rules? Yes- for all rules= 1 No= 3 If No go to Question 23 22. If yes, have these consequences been made clear? Yes- for all rules= 1 No-for some rules= 2 No= 3 Yes-for some rules= 2

23. Do you praise or reward your children for a good work at home? Yes= 1 No= 2

24. In your opinion should corporal punishment be banned in schools? Yes= 1 No= 2

25. In your opinion should corporal punishment be banned in homes/families? Yes= 1 No= 2

26. Teachers are usually right in beating or punishing their students? Always= 1 Rarely= 3 Sometimes= 2 Never= 4

27. Parents are usually right in beating or punishing their children? Always= 1 Rarely= 3 Sometimes= 2 Never= 4

28. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behaviour among the students."

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Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3

Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

29. In your opinion is corporal punishment an effective discipline strategy? Very effective=1 Very ineffective= 3 Effective= 2 Ineffective= 4

30. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Your child must be afraid of you if he or she is to respect and honour you." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

31. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "A child must suffer in order to learn or perform well in school." Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

32. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "In cases of gross misbehaviour children should be severely beaten" Strongly believe=1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

33. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Locking or tying up children is a good form of punishment for children" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

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34. How strongly do you believe the following statement? "Corporal punishment is a normal method of children rearing" Strongly believe= 1 Do not believe it = 3 Believe it = 2 Not sure= 4

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE

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APPENDIX II Focus Group Discussion Questions

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. What is corporal punishment? Does corporal punishment take place in your school/community? What are the effects of corporal punishment? Is corporal punishment justifiable? How? Describe what it feels like t be corporally punished (for students only)? How should children who misbehave be punished? Is corporal punishment effective as a form of punishment? What is your impression of discipline in both your school and community? What are the types of disciplinary problems in your school and community? What alternatives do you think teachers and parents can use instead of corporal punishment?

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APPENDIX III Interview Questions

1. What do you think the prevalence of corporal punishment is? 2. Opinion regarding corporal punishment: a. Do you think corporal punishment is effective? b. Do you think corporal punishment is necessary? c. Do you think corporal punishment should be abolished? 3. What is the role of your department/institution in dealing with corporal punishment? 4. What interventions do you think should be put in place? 5. What are some of the challenges to tackling corporal punishment? 6. What recommendations would you make to tackle corporal punishment?

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APPENDIX IV Frequencies of Questionnaire Responses

Children Sex of respondent Male Female Total Age of respondent 7 Years and Below 8 - 12 Years 13 - 15 Years 16 - 19 Years Over 20 Years Total Are you currently/presently-attending school? Yes No Total Are you learning a trade or profession? Yes No Total Do you have brothers and/or sisters of the same parents? Yes No Total How many brothers do you have? 0 Brother 1 Brother 2 Brothers Valid Percent 8.0 23.9 26.5 Valid Percent 89.0 10.4 100.0 Valid Percent 0.6 99.4 100.0 Valid Percent 99.1 0.9 100.0 Valid Percent 1.3 9.2 48.4 38.7 2.3 100.0 Valid Percent 46.9 53.1 100.0

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3 Brothers 4 Brothers 5 or more Brothers Total How many sisters do you have? 0 Sister 1 Sister 2 Sisters 3 Sisters 4 Sisters 5 or more Sister Total Who is the most educated in your family? Myself My Brother(s) My Sister(s) Father Mother Total

22.4 10.2 9.0 100.0 Valid Percent 9.0 24.8 27.6 19.6 11.5 7.5 100.0 Valid Percent 28.9 30.7 11.5 21.7 7.2 100.0

Highest level of education of the most educated person in your family Valid Percent High School 40.6 University 35.7 None of the Two 23.1 Total 100.0 Region your school is found Region 4 (LRD) Region 5 (CRD) Greater Banjul Area Total Is discipline a problem in your school? Yes No Not Sure Total Valid Percent 37.7 51.3 11.0 100.0 Valid Percent 18.3 61.2 20.4 100.0

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Is corporal punishment practiced in your school? Yes No Total When you grow up will you beat your children? Yes No Total If you become a teacher will you beat your students? Yes No Total Valid Percent 49.2 50.4 100.0 Valid Percent 52.0 47.8 100.0 Valid Percent 69.7 30.0 100.0

Strength of belief that matters of discipline should be decided by the teacher and the student together Valid Percent Strongly Believe 47.7 Believe 26.4 Do Not Believe 13.8 Not Sure 12.1 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that a child must be beaten in order to learn to perform well in school Valid Percent Strongly Believe 37.9 Believe 22.5 Do Not Believe 26.1 Not Sure 13.4 Total 100.0 Does your teacher beat or subject you to other punishments in schools? Valid Percent Yes - Beating 22.8 Yes - Other Punishments 31.4 Yes - Beating and Other Punishments 35.4 No 10.2 Total 100.0 78

What other punishments does your teacher subject you to in school? Valid Percent Monkey Dance 16.0 Cleaning the Classroom 18.8 Detention After School 12.2 Kneeling down 40.6 Pick the Pin 6.9 Other(s) Specify 5.5 Total 100.0 What does your teacher use to beat you? Ruler Cane Belt Implement/Object at Hand Total How often does your teacher beat you during the month? Very often Often Sometimes Rarely Total Valid Percent 10.5 8.1 67.9 13.4 100.0 Valid Percent 11.4 59.9 6.7 22.0 100.0

Do your parents/guardians beat or subject you to other punishments at home? Valid Percent Yes - Beating 29.5 Yes - Other Punishments 22.0 Yes - Beating and Other Punishments 22.6 No 25.3 Total 100.0 What other punishments does your parents/guardian subject you to at home? Valid Percent Cleaning the Room 22.8 Forced to sit at one Place 36.7 Washing the Bowls and Cooking Pots 23.2 Lock in Room 8.7 Other(s) Specify 8.1 79

Total Who often beats you at home? Father Mother Guardian Older Sibling No one beats Me Total How often do your parents/guardian beat you in the month? Very Often Often Sometimes Rarely Total On which part of your body are you usually beaten? Head Face Back Buttocks All over the Body Total How do you feel when you are punished in this way? Very Bad Bad Good Don' t Know Total When were you last beaten or punished? 1 Week ago 2 - 4 Weeks ago 1 - 5 Months ago 5 - 12 Months ago More than 1 year ago Cannot Remember

100.0 Valid Percent 34.1 36.6 6.2 4.6 18.3 100.0

Valid Percent 13.7 7.9 54.9 21.9 100.0 Valid Percent 10.4 6.2 29.0 20.4 34.0 100.0 Valid Percent 52.8 22.4 18.2 5.8 100.0 Valid Percent 17.5 12.0 15.0 8.2 15.8 31.5

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Total

100.0

Did you ever sustain or get any injury during one of your beatings or punishments? Valid Percent Yes 46.5 No 43.1 Not Sure 9.3 Total 100.0 What did you sustain or get when you were beaten or corporally punished? Valid Percent Bruises 30.5 Cuts 18.6 Internal Bleeding 24.4 Knocked Out Tooth 12.4 Dislocated/Fractured Arm 9.5 Other (Specify) 4.6 Total 100.0 Have you at any time decided not to go school for fear of being beaten or punished by your class teacher or another teacher in your school? Valid Percent Yes 40.0 No 58.9 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that there is no school in The Gambia where corporal punishment is not practiced Valid Percent Strongly Believe 28.0 Believe It 21.1 Do not Believe it 26.0 Not Sure 24.5 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that there is no home in The Gambia where corporal punishments is not practiced Valid Percent Strongly Believe 26.8 Believe It 18.9 Do not Believe It 30.0 Not Sure 24.2 Total 100.0 81

How do you usually react when you are corporally punished? Valid Percent Do not Talk to Parent/Guardian 19.2 Cry all Day 23.4 Abandon Home for a While 18.5 Refuse to eat 33.2 Other 5.7 Total 100.0 Do you know of any child who left school because of corporal punishment or fear of the teacher? Valid Percent Yes 46.7 No 52.2 Total 100.0 Do you know of any child who ran away from home because of corporal punishment or fear of the parents/guardian? Valid Percent Yes 52.9 No 47.1 Total 100.0 Do you think corporal punishment can have any serious or negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Valid Percent Yes 58.3 No 23.7 Not Sure 17.9 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment can seriously destroy a teacher's relationship with the student Valid Percent Strongly Believe 42.1 Believe It 25.6 Do Not Believe It 17.4 Not Sure 14.8 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment makes children fear their teachers or parents instead of respecting them Valid Percent Strongly Believe 44.2 82

Believe It Do Not Believe It Not Sure Total

25.6 13.3 16.8 100.0

Strength of belief that schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behaviour among the students Valid Percent Strongly Believe 37.5 Believe It 27.0 Do Not Believe It 23.4 Not Sure 11.9 Total 100.0 How are your school rules decided? The School Administration (PTA) Decides Head Teacher Decides after Some Discussion with Staff Head Teacher and School Council (Prefects/Councillors) negotiate rules The School Council (Prefects/Councillors) Decides Other Total Have the school rules been made clear? Yes No Total How are students made aware of school rules? Valid Percent Through the Parents Telling the Students 13.2 Through the Teacher Telling the Students 47.1 Rules are Displayed on Charts or on the Walls in the School 15.1 Rules are Displayed on School Notice Board 21.1 Other 3.5 Total 100.0 Are there consequences for breaking specific school rules? Valid Percent Yes - For all Rules 42.3 Yes - For Some Rules 40.3 No 16.8 Total 100.0 83 Valid Percent 85.0 12.6 100.0 Valid Percent 43.8 28.2 19.6 6.8 1.5 100.0

If yes, have these consequences been made clear? Yes - For All Rules Yes - For some Rules No Total How are your family rules decided? The Parent Decides Parents Decide After Some Discussion with Children Parents and Children Negotiate Rules The Children Decide Other Total Have the family rules been clear? Yes No Total How are children made aware of family rules? Through Parent's Discussion of Rules with the Children Through the Parent Telling the Children Other Total Valid Percent 42.0 52.4 5.4 100.0 Valid Percent 86.5 12.1 100.0 Valid Percent 45.8 34.5 12.9 4.7 2.1 100.0 Valid Percent 51.7 39.8 8.0 100.0

Are there are any specific consequences for breaking specific family rules? Valid Percent Yes - For All Rules 31.0 Yes - For Some Rules 50.8 No 18.2 Total 100.0 If yes, have these consequences been made clear? Yes - For All Rules Yes - For Some Rules No Total Valid Percent 48.5 43.3 8.2 100.0

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Do you get praise or rewards from your teacher for doing well in class? Valid Percent Yes 87.4 No 12.5 Total 100.0 Do you get praise or rewards from your parents for good work at home? Valid Percent Yes 89.5 No 10.3 Total 100.0 Corp oral punishment should be banned in homes/families? Yes No Total Corporal punishment should be banned in schools? Yes No Total Valid Percent 64.6 34.9 100.0 Valid Percent 63.9 35.9 100.0

Teachers are usually right in beating or punishing their students? Valid Percent Always 17.9 Sometimes 68.1 Rarely 6.3 Never 7.8 Total 100.0 Parents are usually right in beating or punishing their children? Valid Percent Always 27.1 Sometimes 56.6 Rarely 8.0 Never 8.3 Total 100.0 Do you think children have a right not to be subjected to punishment that is humiliating and degrading? Valid Percent

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Yes No Total Do you believe that children have rights? Strongly Believe Believe it Do Not Believe It Not Sure Total

50.2 48.1 100.0 Valid Percent 49.1 20.8 16.0 14.1 100.0

What in your opinion is the most effective way to end the corporal punishment of children? Valid Percent Legal Reform (Changes in the Law) Only 30.3 Public Sensitization Only 24.9 Legal Reform and Public sensitization 23.6 Don't know 20.1 Other 1.0 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment is the only thing that children understand when they disobey Valid Percent Strongly Believe 34.5 Believe It 24.9 Do not Believe It 24.2 Not Sure 16.5 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment is a very ineffective form of discipline Valid Percent Strongly Believe 34.1 Believe It 24.3 Do not Believe It 23.2 Not Sure 18.4 Total 100.0 Teachers Sex of respondent Valid Percent

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Male Female Total Category of teaching Kindergarten Lower Basic Upper Basic Senior Secondary Total Are you married? Yes No Total Do you have a child or children going to school? Yes No Total Class Size 10 - 24 Students 25 - 44 Students 45 - 59 Students Above 60 Students Total In which region you are teaching? Region 4 (LRD) Region 5 (CRD) Greater Banjul Area Total

74.0 26.0 100.0

Valid Percent 2.3 35.8 50.2 11.7 100.0

Valid Percent 56.4 43.6 100.0

Valid Percent 47.5 52.1 100.0

Valid Percent 5.3 42.2 39.9 12.5 100.0

Valid Percent 25.3 45.7 28.7 100.0

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Is discipline of children problem in your school? Yes No Not Sure Total Your impression of discipline of children at your school Very Good Good Very Poor Poor Total Is corporal punishment practiced in your school? Yes No Total Were you beaten when you were a student? Yes No Total Would you use corporal punishment on your students? Yes No Total Do you beat or subject your students to other punishments? Yes Beating Yes - Other Punishments Yes - Beating and other Punishment No Valid Percent 11.5 48.5 32.4 7.6 Valid Percent 57.9 42.1 100.0 Valid Percent 97.0 2.7 100.0 Valid Percent 49.8 48.6 100.0 Valid Percent 12.0 42.5 19.7 25.9 100.0 Valid Percent 66.5 26.5 6.2 100.0

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Total What other punishments do you subject your students to? Monkey Dance Cleaning the Classroom Detention after School Kneeling Down Pick the pin Other Total What do you use to beat your students? Ruler Cane Belt Any implement/Object at Hand Total How often do you beat your students? Very Often Often Rarely Total How do you feel when you corporally punish your students? Very Bad Bad Good Don't Know Total Do you consider corporal punishment humiliating for students? Yes No

100.0

Valid Percent 4.9 21.9 11.3 51.0 2.0 8.9 100.0

Valid Percent 7.4 82.3 6.3 4.0 100.0

Valid Percent 9.0 17.4 72.5 100.0

Valid Percent 27.3 43.7 20.0 9.0 100.0

Valid Percent 49.6 49.6

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Total

100.0

Strength of belief that fear is a desirable method to be used in controlling the behaviour of students Valid Percent Strongly Believe 26.8 Believe 28.4 Do not Believe 29.9 Not Sure 14.9 Total 100.0 Can corporal punishment have any serious and negative impact on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Valid Percent Yes 44.5 No 42.2 Not Sure 12.5 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that a student is more likely to respect a teacher who praises, loves, and honour him or her Valid Percent Strongly Believe 39.3 Believe it 27.9 Do not Believe it 19.1 Not Sure 13.4 Total 100.0 How are school rules decided? The School Administration (PTA) decides Head Teacher Decides after some Discussion with Staff Head Teacher and School (prefects/councillors) negotiate rules The School Council (prefects/councillors) decide Other Total Have the school rules been made clear for the students? Yes No Valid Percent 93.8 5.4 Valid Percent 46.8 39.2 8.4 1.5 4.2 100.0

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Total How are your students made aware of school rules? Through the parents telling the Students Through the teacher telling the Students Rules are Displayed on Charts or on the Walls in the Schools Rules are Displayed on School Notice Board Other Total

100.0

Valid Percent 5.1 51.6 14.1 14.8 14.5 100.0

Are there specific consequences for breaking specific classroom rules? Valid Percent Yes - for all rules 33.3 Yes - for some rules 52.2 No 14.5 Total 100.0 Have these consequences been made clear to students? Yes for all rules Yes for some rules No Total Do you praise or reward your students for doing well in class? Yes No Total Do you think teachers need training in classroom management? Yes No Total Valid Percent 90.7 9.3 100.0 Valid Percent 98.8 1.2 100.0 Valid Percent 79.2 18.1 2.7 100.0

Do you think teachers need to know positive, non-violent alternatives to punishment? Valid Percent

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Yes No Total Should corporal punishment be banned in schools? Yes No Total Is corporal punishment an effective discipline strategy? Very Effective Effective Very Ineffective Ineffective Total

87.6 12.4 100.0

Valid Percent 19.4 80.6 100.0

Valid Percent 42.3 38.5 6.2 13.1 100.0

Strength of belief that corporal punishment is the only thing that students understand when they disobey Valid Percent Strongly Believe 36.4 Believe it 31.8 Do not Believe It 21.5 Not Sure 10.3 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that matters of discipline should be decided by the teacher and student together Valid Percent Strongly Believe 32.1 Believe It 25.6 Do not Believe It 34.4 Not Sure 8.0 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment conveys the message that the stronger and older persons has the right to corporally punish the younger and weaker persons Valid Percent Strongly Believe 12.5 92

Believe It Do not Believe It Not Sure Total Parents Marital status Married Not Married Total Have a child going to school Yes No Total Area of residence Region 4 (LRD) Region 5 (CRD) Greater Banjul Area Total Valid Percent 79.7 9.4 10.4 100.0 Valid Percent 83.5 16.5 100.0 Valid Percent 93.0 7.0 100.0

15.2 54.8 17.5 100.0

What is your impression of the discipline of children in your community? Valid Percent Very Good 24.1 Good 26.4 Very Poor 27.4 Poor 22.2 Total 100.0 Is corporal punishment practiced in your family? Yes No Total Valid Percent 82.5 17.5 100.0

Were you beaten corporally punished when you were a child? Valid Percent Yes 92.0 No 8.0 93

Total Would you use corporal punishment with your children? Yes No Total Do you beat or subject children to other punishments? Yes - Beating Yes - Other Punishments Yes - Beating and Other Punishments No Total

100.0 Valid Percent 78.8 20.3 100.0 Valid Percent 18.6 27.1 41.9 12.4 100.0

What other punishments do you subject your children to? Valid Percent Cleaning the Room 6.6 Forced to sit in one place 46.1 Washing the Bowls and Cooking Pots 13.2 Lock in Room 17.4 Other 16.8 Total 100.0 What do you use to beat your child? Ruler Cane Belt Implement/object at hand Total How often do you beat your child? Very Often Often Sometimes Rarely Total Valid Percent 22.9 11.2 41.9 24.0 100.0 Valid Percent 2.3 58.5 17.0 21.6 100.0

How do you feel when you corporally punished your child? Valid Percent Very Bad 34.3

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Bad Good Don't know Total

34.8 27.6 3.3 100.0

Do you think corporal punishment can have serious or negative effects on a child's ability to learn and concentrate in class? Valid Percent Yes 54.0 No 41.3 Not Sure 4.7 Total 100.0 Do you consider corporal punishment humiliating for children? Valid Percent Yes 56.5 No 42.6 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment is the only thing children understand when they disobey Valid Percent Strongly Believe 36.2 Believe It 32.9 Do not Believe It 27.1 Not Sure 3.8 Total 100.0 How are your family rules decided? The Parents Decide Parents Decide after Some Discussion with Children Parents and Children Negotiate Rules The Children Decides Total Have family rules been made clear for the children? Yes No Total How are children made aware of family rules? Valid Percent Through Parents' Discussion of Rules with the Children 29.2 95 Valid Percent 90.1 8.9 100.0 Valid Percent 77.0 17.4 5.2 0.5 100.0

Through the Parent Telling the Children Other Total

65.6 5.2 100.0

Are there specific consequences for breaking specific family rules? Valid Percent Yes - For All Rules 50.7 Yes - For Some Rules 40.8 No 8.5 Total 100.0 If yes, have the consequences been made clear? Yes for all rules Yes for some rules No Total Valid Percent 63.1 34.3 2.5 100.0

Do you praise or reward children for a good work at home? Valid Percent Yes 79.1 No 20.9 Total 100.0 In your opinion should corporal punishment be banned in schools? Valid Percent Yes 23.1 No 76.9 Total 100.0 In your opinion should corporal punishment be banned in homes/families? Valid Percent Yes 20.4 No 78.2 Total 100.0 Teachers are usually right in beating or punishing their students? Valid Percent Always 22.6 Sometimes 67.9 Rarely 4.2 Never 5.2 Total 100.0

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Parents are usually right in beating or punishing their children? Valid Percent Always 50.0 Sometimes 43.4 Rarely 3.8 Never 2.8 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that schools need corporal punishment to discourage bad behaviour among the students Valid Percent Strongly Believe 46.5 Believe It 32.9 Do Not Believe It 18.8 Not Sure 1.9 Total 100.0 In your opinion is corporal punishment an effective discipline strategy? Valid Percent Very Effective 41.3 Effective 39.9 Very Effective 9.4 Ineffective 9.4 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that your child should be afraid of you if he/she is to respect and honour you Valid Percent Strongly Believe 37.9 Believe It 29.9 Do Not Believe It 30.8 Not Sure 1.4 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that a child must suffer in order to learn or perform well in school Valid Percent Strongly believe 41.2 Believe it 24.6 Do not believe it 31.3 Not sure 2.8 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that in cases of gross misbehaviour children should be severely beaten 97

be severely beaten Strongly believe Believe it Do not believe it Not sure Total Valid Percent 38.2 29.7 26.9 5.2 100.0

Strength of belief that locking or tying children up is a good form of punishing children Valid Percent Strongly believe 15.0 Believe it 20.2 Do not believe it 59.6 Not sure 5.2 Total 100.0 Strength of belief that corporal punishment is a normal method of children rearing Valid Percent Strongly believe 49.3 Believe it 29.6 Do not believe it 19.2 Not sure 1.9 Total 100.0

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APPEDIX V Transcript of Focus Group Discussions

Students ­ Bureng Upper Basic School What are you impressions of the discipline of children in the school? Student-Male: For me it is very good. They follow the rules and regulations of the school. What is corporal punishment? Student-Male: Corporal punishment is the infliction of pain on a child by an adult, for example punishments like beating. Incidents Student-Female: When I was in primary school we had a teacher called Mr. Trawally. He beat one girl called Amie up to the extent that the girl could not sit on her buttocks If you become a teacher would you beat your students or subject them to other punishment? Student-Female: I will not beat my students because if I do they will become afraid of me and some of them would be absenting themselves from school. Student-Male: For me if I become a teacher before I beat a student I will first advice. If I advise you several times and you could not understand. You know some students if they are not beaten they cannot do what they are to ld to do. Before I beat I will advise you. But if I advise you and you could not understand I must beat you. Student-Male: .... Some people are saying that the only language that we children understand is the stick. No it is not that. If you advise us we the children we can understand.... Let me tell you corporal punishment is in fact a world bomb that can explode any time. For example if you beat a child and that child is wounded, that can lead to many problems. Is corporal punishment justifiable? Student-Male: I say yes to that. But it has a limit. Even our culture corporal punishment is part of that. But some people the way they are treating children is not good like kneeling down or putting stones in the hands. That is not good. But corporal punishment yes it should be done. But the way these people are doing, I want it stopped or banned. Student-Male: Some teachers beat students because they hate them. For example even though we the student do not make the teacher as your friend he will hate you. But sometimes beating is good in some ways but it has a limit.

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Is corporal punishment good? Student-Male: In another way it is good because some students if they are not beaten they are not complete human beings. Student-Female: Corporal punishment, I support it because sometimes if at all now corporal punishment is out many students will not learn. Student-Male: Corporal punishment, we should support it but the way people are doing it now is not good. Some people the only language they can understand is the stick... Student-Female: Corporal punishment is good in our society because some students they are very rude and they do not respect their teachers and their parents. Because sometimes if you do corporal punishment to them once they will stop what they are doing and sometimes they will be able to learn and whereby we can have good students. Students ­ Jappineh Upper Basic School How are children disciplined in your community? Student-Male: Sometimes my parents will not give me any food or they will send me out of the compound. My parents give me this type of punishment when I do bad things in the compound, especially when I try to beat my little brothers and sisters. Student-Male: When I do bad things they advice me. But when I do not take their advice they beat me. When I go to the town, loitering at the village without doing anything up to 6 o'clock when I come they advice me and when I don't take it and the following day I do it they beat me. Student-Male: As you know a bird never puts a bad insect inside the mouth of its young. And the corporal punishment our parents are giving us we all know that they will never fool us. So the corporal punishment me I am facing that if I did a bad thing they will call me and keep me inside the compound. They will tell that two or three days I will not be out. I will sit there and make sure that I will not do such again. What is your impression of discipline in your community? Student-Male: ....Nowadays children are very respectful towards their elders. We cannot live without respect. As you can see that we give you your due because of respect. If at all we are not having discipline you will be in front us because we will not bother ourselves to give you the due. Student-Male: I am very happy about the impression of discipline in the community. Because of this corporal punishment and the child rights children know something much about their rights. Teachers give their dues to them so that now the discipline is now impressive. Teachers give the dies to students so the students also give that respect to the teachers. There is no indiscipline in the society.

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In this school students know much about their rights. For example, when students are in the classroom teachers have no rights to come and send the students outside when the lessons are on. Incidents Student-Male (Mandinka): There was a particular day when I went inside the village and played two people against each other and they eventually fought. The matter was reported to my mother who in turn told my brother. They beat me on that day until I fainted. Then they said I would not go inside the village... Student-Male (Fula): There was a particular day when a boy was hit on the head by his father and the boy fainted. Everybody thought the boy had died but he survived though. When the boy was taken to the health centre it was realized that his blood level was low. Such forms of punishment are bad. The father should have called the son and advised him. What forms of punishment take place in this school? Student-Male (Mandinka): You are asked to kneel down and hold a chair in your hands straight. You would be kneeling in the sun for one hour and then they would beat you and told to go back to your class. Sometimes they will tell you to go and clean the toilet. Student-Male: I say corporal punishment should be abolished in schools. Let me tell you the effects of corporal punishment. First of all, it leads to injury and bodily pain when they are beaten with a stick. It brings misunderstanding between teachers and their students or parents and their children. Secondly, it makes children to be afraid of their teachers or parents and that is not good. If a student does a wrong thing to his or her teacher the student should crack a joke or kneel down in the classroom but not to send him or her out of the classroom. Alternatives Student-Male (Mandinka): Advice is an option. If someone does something to you, before you have a problem with him or her, go and report the matter to the principal so that you can sit down together and resolve that matter. There are some people who are shy and if you embarrass them when they do a wrong they never repeat it. Some people need to be frightened or terrorized otherwise they will never stop their wrong doing. Students ­ Jangjanbureh Upper Basic School What will be your stand with regards to corporal punishment if you are elected as the head boy of the school? Student-Male: We are just going to call a students meeting with the principal. We will discuss about the matter that corporal punishment should not exist in this school. There are other kinds of punishment that we can do. They can even bring brooms and we can sweep the whole school. But corporal punishment is not good.

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Alternatives Student-Male: They should call the person and advise him. If they advise him the boy will not repeat it again. Student-Male: You can be suspended for may be one week or some days or the principal sends you home to go and call your parents. The principal also talks to your parents about what you have done in the school here. So then your parents will know what to do. What will be your stand with regards to corporal punishment if you are elected as the head girl of the school? Student-Female: I say no corporal punishment. I will maintain discipline in the school so that there will be no corporal punishment. When I maintain discipline the students will understand because some of them when you talk to them they understand. Types of punishment you will prefer your teacher to give you Student-Female: Advise you. When you refuse I mock you. And if you refuse I then suspend you more that 2 or 3 days. If you don't come to school and you want to learn you will feel ashamed. How do you see the discipline of children in your community? Student-Male: Discipline first of all maintains peace. We should maintain discipline in whatever we are doing. It is the main part of everything. Discipline again has to do with respect. You have to honour and give respect to your elders. Student-Male (Mandinka): In whatever you are doing discipline is important because if there is discipline a place can progress. If people respect and honour each other things can work smoothly. Are children disciplined in your community? What makes you think that children in your community are not disciplined? Student-Male: Disciplined is maintained in school and home because we respect our parents. We give maximum respect to our masters and we maintain the school rules. How do you consider the disciplinary strategies that are being laid down in your school? Student-Male: We like it because disciplinary generally makes a person and is the key to success. If you are disciplined any where you go can match with people. It is the key to everything. How are students made aware of school rules? Student-Male: In most cases they announce it at the assembly. At times they write and paste it on the notice board. Disciplinary problems 102

Student-Male: At times students find it difficult to come on time. At times some students have problems with their teachers due to poor speech. Alternatives Student-Male: They can advise students to have a better understanding instead of using corporal punishment. How do you feel when you are corporally punished by either your parent or teacher? Student-Female: Really I feel corporal punishment is one of the most painful things. I feel very bad when I am punished. If they beat when I am among my colleagues I feel very sad and ashamed. Student-Male: You feel angry and shy... Student-Male: I feel bad at the same time I feel shy because when we are going out I may say something and my colleague will tell me `keep quiet. That is why they beat you on that day.' You feel shy about it. Student-Female: When I am beaten I feel shy but later I will understand that I did a bad thing. Later they will advise me and I will agree with that advice. Student-Male (Mandinka): If I am beaten on a particular day I get angry and cry. My body pains especially the part on which they beat me. If I go into the village my friends would laugh at me if they know that I was beaten. Student-Male: I feel bad up to the extent that I ask myself why I am alive. But if I get happy I forget all those problems. Student-Male (Mandinka): My intention or wish is to take a big stone and smash the head of that teacher if I meet him in the village. Other forms of punishment Student-Male: Sometimes they ask us to come out and kneel in the sun. Student-Male: If you are advised and you refused they should mock you in front of the assembly. You would not do it in the future. Student-Male: They should call you and advise you. Student-Male: They should disgrace you in front of the assembly. Next time you will not do it. What is corporal punishment? Student-Male: Corporal punishment is the punishment where you feel some pain. 103

Student-Male: Corporal punishment may be defined as any punishment that may cause internal pain. Student-Female: Corporal punishment is the force you use on children. Student-Male: Is simply punishment which if they do to you, you will feel pain. Does corporal punishment happen in the school here? Student-Male: Monkey dance is not common in the school here. What is common here is you sweep the whole school campus. Student-Male: In the rainy season they give us hoes to weed the school. Student-Male: When we litter papers in the school environment they do ask us to pick them with our tongues. Student-Male: We fetch water and clean the toilets. Effects of corporal punishment Student-Male: Monkey dance if you do it even twenty -five times if you go to bed the next morning you cannot even walk. Student-Male: Sometimes even you see the teacher you will become discouraged and you will say `he is coming to beat me' Student-Male: Sometimes if they beat you, you cannot even write with a pen. You just sit there. Student-Male: First of all the student will feel angry. For instance when the student is angry with the actual master who is teaching he or she will not listen carefully and will not get knowledge from the master. That may even lead to the danger of the student dropping down due to such problems. If every day you are punished like this, you may leave the school. How effective is corporal punishment? Student-Male (Mandinka): If a person is used to the stick when young and he or she grows up the stick never does him any harm. If that child does something wrong and you beat him or her it would seem as if he or she has not been beaten. The child goes to do worse things. Student-Male (Mandinka): If you beat me for doing a bad thing I do not repeat it because beating is painful. I can be wounded if I repeat that thing. Student-Male: Corporal punishment causes permanent damage inside the body. Incidents 104

Student-Male (Mandinka): I witnessed one incident which involved my sister. She was chased by a teacher and when she refused the teacher beat her until he broke her tooth. The matter was reported to the police but finally resolved. However, the teacher was transferred to another school where vehicles are rarely seen. Student-Male: Our teacher was walking when two students shot him with stones and broke his head. When the students came to school they were severely punished and later suspended. Students ­ Brikamaba Upper Basic School How are children disciplined in your community? Student-Female: In our community we are disciplined through the forms or rules that our parents put across to us. There are some rules that they would put across which if you violate you will face the consequences. So if you don't want to face such consequences you must obey what they are trying to tell you. That is the way I feel people or children are being disciplined in our community. My feelings are I am disciplined through the way my parents are trying to bring me up and through the rules and regulations that the y are putting across too. That is the way I am disciplined as a child and that is the way I think all other children are being disciplined in our communities here. Disciplinary methods Student-Female: The disciplinary methods that my parents use with me is at times they advice me and at times they use the cane. If they talk to you and you can't understand they use the cane. May be you will understand the language of the cane. That is what they use. And some parents in fact get their children out of their compounds. If you are asked out of you compound and then later on people are able to speak to your parents and they are able to convince them then you are allowed back to the compound. May be from that experience you will be able to rectify the mistakes and will be able to be disciplined or obey what they were trying to tell you. Student-Male::.....Sometimes they use the cane and at times they advice people for their own betterments. Impression of discipline in your school Student-Male: In our school we have other students who don't have respect for their teachers and such students always find it very difficult to survive in the school. But students who follow their teachers and abide by the rules of the school really they are the people who we call as people who are on the safer side. As students we need to exercise patience and we need to be disciplined because without discipline everything will be very tough for us in life. As they say discipline is the key to success and I think every student is really advised to be disciplined in order to achieve his aim of being in the school. Most of us here do not originally come from this place; we are here purposely for education. And really when we come here we need to follow the steps that are related to our education. It is very good for students to be disciplined in school. Disciplinary problems in our community 105

Student-Female: In our community some of the children lack home training. Student-Male: There are other guys who disobey their parents' advice. For example, in the school here there are some students who disobey the rules and regulations of the school and for that being the case they are punished for it. How are these disciplinary problems addressed when they occur in your community? Student-Male: People advise us that if you are indiscipline you will never achieve your aims and objectives in life; you will never be successful. Student-Male: Sometimes in our societies when such things happen at times our parents do call us and then try to advise us on that area that we have committed. Sometimes also elders of the community normally call to advise the children of that particular community to be respectful and to avoid all sorts of indiscipline action in the society. Sometimes it is addressed in such a way. Disciplinary problems that you face in your school Student-Male: The problem of some students in the school is that they will not follow the rules and regulations of the school and they used to challenge some teachers which are offences in the school... And some students used to write letters to their teachers or the master just for nonsense... How are disciplinary problems addressed in the school? Student-Male: When these things happen the principal, for example like on Mondays and Fridays, he used to advise the students and give them some examples how a good student should behave.... Student-Male: I can say that some students are disciplined but at least some are not disciplined. Some few students come to school late while it is not their fault. You see the teacher punishing them very seriously. One day I came to school very late. I was punished by one teacher with my uniform saying that I should sleep on the ground and I did so. And the same day he brought stones for one boy to kneel on them. The boy refused and the thing was forwarded to the principal who suspended the boy. I say this thing is not good. How can you advise somebody to kneel on a rock while he is in uniform? That punishment really I don't support it. Student-Female: .... I suggest there are some other ways of punishing students different from that way. Because how can you ask a student who is from home, you don't know how that student or the parents of that student managed to get the soap to wash their uniform? How can you ask such a student to lie or sleep on the ground? It is not a civilized way of punishing a student. You can ask the student to go and water at the garden or you can ask the student to kneel for certain minutes or you can beat but not seriously. There are many other methods of punishment that people are using in schools in a different way. Incidents at Home 106

Student-Female: ... There are parents whom you know that when their children do something wrong at home they will send them out of the compound. In stead of getting the chap out of your compound I think there are other ways to deal with a child so that he or she can realize the mistake that he or she has done rather than asking or sending the individual out of your compound, especially a girl. If I do something wrong and my dad sends me out, especially if it is at night, and something should happen to we, well I am responsible but my father is responsible too. I am a child so a child sometimes could be childish. If I should do something wrong I come back home there are other ways of punishing me or other ways of talking to me than asking me to go out of the compound in that night. Do you know where I will spend the night? You will not know...... Alternatives that parents or teachers can use Student-Female: By advising the students to know their responsibilities and duties. Some of the responsibilities of children Student-Female: To respect their parents and to respect their elders and the teachers; to learn in school, to do their best in school. What is corporal punishment? Student-Female: To give bad punishment in school, like teachers punishing students badly, like kneeling down, telling them to work throughout the day without learning. Student-Male: Corporal punishment is a bad punishment like kneeling down on the ground or telling a student to sleep on the ground. Student-Female: Corporal punishment is serious punishment or severe punishments that students are made to do and which are not supposed to be .... Incidents at the school Student-Female: Well I am an example. I have been punished for one week. Every day I come to school they will send me for punishment. But I can do nothing against it simply because in the provinces here we students are not feeling as students at the Kombo area. Like this CPA and other things could have given us some knowledge of the way we are going to step but we did not have them. We have not experienced them before. So there is no way, I just have to do my punishment, keep patience and go back to my class. That is all I can do. Student-Male: One boy fell from a mango and broke his hand. The following day when he came to the school he was punished by a teacher in the same hand which was paining. That teacher's punishment is very bad. To add a pain on a pain is very difficult. Student-Male: I also remember in 1999 I was with one of my boys in our place. When we went to the garden in the afternoon he fought with a girl. The following day was a Monday and he was punished by our headmaster. He was seriously wounded and the boy was taken to hospital..... 107

Effects Student-Male: Corporal punishment can have a great effect on children especially in schools. When every day we are corporally punished at times we might in fact hate such teachers even whereas they are the teachers who are teaching us. The moment we see them we might not have the concept of listening to their teaching but instead we will be thinking of other things because they are fond of giving us a very difficult punishment. So I think corporal punishment is playing a very negative impact towards our education. Number one if you hate your teacher definitely you must hate the subject. If you hate the subject you cannot be able to get what the teacher is saying. And that means any time you see him it will remind you of that punishment. That is why you hate the teacher. Student-Female: You know like at times when we talk about effects we have positive effects and negative effects. At times when you punish a student and the student really knows that he or she should be punished for what he or she has done and the parents also supported you the teacher on what you have done to the student against the bad actions of the students, at times it changes students. Like myself before I was very rough in school. My name was mentioned on the lips of every student and teacher in the school here. But now because of the punishment that I got about three to four weeks back at least I am trying to realize my mistakes and I am changing my behaviour....At times if you punish me in a way in which you should not punish me or you punish me of something that does not worth it, it would make me to be stubborn. I don't know of other students but if you should punish me of something that you should not, I will never stop that you are punishing me. I will still continuing doing it and if you don't mind I will do more than you to show you that you are punishing me but I will leave you with the Almighty Allah as I cannot do anything against it. But then I will not also stop what I am doing especially if I feel that what I am doing is right.... At time it can change the way you behave if you are behaving badly. At times it can in fact make you to be worse. Student-Female: There are another ways of punishments instead of corporally... We are children. At times we behave childish. So it is not every time that you take step. Even you who is the teacher you were once a student. If that is the way teachers were behaving to you I don't think you will reach the stage you are. At times it works to talk to students. Bring them to your office. Talk to them privately. Speak to them in a way they will understand. Try and encourage them. Try and convince them instead of confusing them because if you are punishing a student always you are not convincing that student in stead you are confusing the individual. So at times it works to talk to each other. Talk to students. We are just brothers and sisters to teachers. So face us. Speak to us. No human being is a donkey. So sometimes when you speak to people we can all understand languages. It is not every time that you take weapons. It is not every time that you take cane. If that is the way your parents or teachers have been behaving towards you when you were going to school you would not reach the stage you are. So it is better you treat people the way you were treated before. Like one English proverb says: do unto others as you wish people to do unto you. Is corporal punishment justifiable? Student-Female: Sometimes it will be right because students do not follow the rules and regulations of the school. 108

Student-Female: To me corporal punishment should not be done. But for some children if you don't punish them corporally they won't know what they are doing. How do you feel when you are corporally punished? Student-Female: ... If you punish me corporally sometimes I feel bad. When sitting in class even if the teacher is teaching I will not even concentrate simply because I am just from punishment. If I do something bad and you punish me I will realize my mistakes and even the teacher is talking to me I will obey the teacher. Student-Male: If I do something wrong and I am corporally punished I feel good. But when I am on my right if I am punished I feel very angry; I feel very, very bad. Student-Female: I feel very proud and very happy if I do something wrong and you corporally punish me. But I feel bad if I am right and you punish me on that. I feel so bad about that. Student-Female: It is effective when the child does something bad or wrong. Students ­ Sololo Upper Basic School Student-Male: No, beating is not the best form. You need to advise children but not to beat them. If he does bad thing you need to advise that person. But not to beat that person How do you feel when you are corporally punished? Student-Female: I will feel bad but I will feel ashamed, because all my colleagues are sitting down and for me I am having punishment. And if you are having punishment the teacher will not ask you questions. And even if he asks you questions and you answer it he will tell you keep quick you are under punishment! You cannot understand anything. The teacher will punish you until one period passed and you cannot understand anything there. Student-Female: I will get cuts or lashes if they beat me on my hands. They will beat boys on the buttocks and beat girls on the hands. If they do there 10 cuts or 12 cuts blood will come out. Student-Male: They use the can and pipe to beat us. Student-Male: I was late for school one day and the principal beat me until he wound me on my back. The following day I was late again .... When I was returning home I met a boy who caused a problem and he was beaten until he defecated on himself, and then ran away. He was so shy. The boy ran away from school for months. He did not come back to school ... Of course they need to beat us but it should have a limit and they should not harm us. Student-Male: One of my cousins, a distant relative, who is in Quranic school was once beaten until he nearly died .... The boy refused to attend classes and went to play football instead. So when he went to school the following day the Quranic teacher was very angry with him and beaten until he nearly died .... The parents said the boy was learning the Quran so it was right for the man 109

to beat him like that. Some people said that the teacher should beat him but there should be a limit in punishing a child like that. Student-Male:... If a teacher beats a student it will make you not to learn again. Students run away from school when they are beaten at school. They go home and never come back to school again. That is not a good sign. How can we discipline children at home? Girl/ (Mandinka): The situation of discipline is serious in homes. I can give you an example. There is a woman tenant in our compound. She always beat her child mercilessly. The child always begs for things from people or passers-by. One day she tied the child with a rope and took him into the kitchen and burnt his hands. It happens in our compound. Girl (Wollof): One of our tenants told her younger sister to go and plait her hair. When the girl came back the elder sister burnt her leg. When her husband asked her why she did that to her younger sister she said she liked it. Incidents at the school Female ( Mandinka): One day in our class a student was asked a question by the teacher and when she was unable to answer it the teacher beat her 25 lashes or `cuts' until she urinated in her skirts and also wounded her on the finger. Beating is not a good from of punishment. Because if you ask a child a question and he/she cannot answer it you need to remind him/her and tell him/her the correct answer. Teachers ­ Brikamaba Upper Basic School How do you see the level of discipline of students in the school? Teacher-Male: It is very fine in the school here. The right type of disciplinary action we are taking in this school here are definitely attaining us our objectives. What are some of the disciplinary measures you use? Teacher-Male: ... As we say that we are here to foster and inculcate morals in these very students of ours, anything that is going to bring their total wellbeing that is what we are going to look towards. In this area here particularly Gambia in context when you talk of discipline we are now saying more or less that the unruly behaviour that should be sanctioned negatively to attain the individual to have a right perception as a human being. In the African countries when we talk of discipline we are saying a child when he or she does wrong that you correct the individual. The measure or measures to correct the situation will depend on individual discretion and the community that you are living in. In our school here we are having different methods of punishment. We punish corporally, we punish students to clean the school environment and sometimes we take them to the garden to go and do the work there. All these things are part and parcel of telling you what you have done is wrong and so therefore we are correcting the 110

situation....But using the cane on them, they will never repeat what they have done before. Therefore whatever we are telling them here if it is accompanied with corporal punishment the objective is always attained in that area. Teacher-Male: In our school here, we are highly organized. We have different sub-committees. There is a committee in charge of discipline. We call it the disciplinary committee. One of the achievements that we have made so far is that we have been able to come out with a constitution guiding the conduct of the students in the school. .... Students were not involved in the preparation of that constitution. Teacher-Male: The way discipline is being carried out in this school has been successful. About 3 or 4 years ago when we used to have these VSO and peace corps, they tried to put up their own form of western idea of this corporal punishment and some of the teachers here then tried to practice it. But the level of indiscipline was so high. The school poultry was destroyed. Offices were being destroyed. Every week, there was action. Students bring knives to school and all sorts of things because there was no discipline. There was no proper way of disciplining them because we were following this Peace Corps and VSO ways of western ideology. But since the rules and regulations and since we came back to our own native land, mother Africa, there is discipline in this school. Teacher-Male:...There is a saying in Wollof that if you do not discipline a child he/she won't be disciplined. That does not mean that you are going to use the cane everyday to inflict pain, wounds or so. But like use a very light cane that will at least be able to change the person's negative behaviour. Teacher-Male: ... The word they use for corporal punishment that is not the real word for it. The white man, when they want to destroy something, they would use a word to destroy it. When you want to kill a dog you give it a bad name. Let them go and find out the history of corporal punishment, where it came from..... Do we think there are other methods that we can use to change people's attitudes apart from the use of the cane? Teacher-Male:....Sometimes there are certain problems there is no need to take very serious disciplinary measures. Sometimes beating is not one of the most serious disciplinary measures. If you want to discipline somebody very well, sometimes you do not use the cane. But sometimes like someone misbehaving in the class in front of everybody, just get that individual, giving him one stroke that will make him feel ashamed in front of the other and he or she will change his/her attitude towards you. Teacher-Male: I think that if it would depend on the level of the crime that the child has committed. At times he might do something that you would suspend him or there are certain things that he would do and conditions would force you to use the cane. It depends on the level of the crime of the student. Do you think corporal punishment is humiliating for a child?

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Teacher-Male: Punishment is not a humiliation or degradation; I see it as correction of the situation... Incidents Teacher-Male: ... A student you are there to be told what is better for you, because students most of them do not know what is good and what is bad for them. In correcting the situation they may see you as their worst antagonist..... Teacher-Male: I for one, I have never come across it anyway. But myself is a classical example. During my high school days I used to be told that immediately when it is 2 o' clock, when I come back that I am going to meet my lunch at the rice field. Without going to the rice field I will never eat that day. So when I used to be in the second to last period or last period, my mind is always on the rice field there, on the lunch at the rice field. I never listen to what the teachers are telling me. I am at the time focusing my mind on what I am going to me et at the rice field. It has great impact on my education. And to whosoever it happened, it is the same thing that is going happen. How do you feel when you corporally punish a child? Teacher-Male: ...Asking a child to kneel down there is another way of telling the child that this is what you have done wrong; something is wrong somewhere and the best ransom to that is go and kneel down under the sun. When you are there kneeling and feeling the pain and the sun there is burning, you definitely learn from the mistake that you have committed. Next time when you are asked to sit down you will never commit such a crime like that to go and kneel. So therefore it is helping us to attain the objectives. That is a good way of doing it, even we are proud of that, that we are achieving our objectives. Teacher-Male: ... To be bold enough, I will say punishment is very important in somebody's life. Because if a certain behaviour in you persists, it does not change and society does not need it, actually you have to be punished. That is why even in states you have prisons. Why do we have those prisoners? They have gone a long way in doing things that does not match with the society. The school also is an institution hereby we also need to rectify situations to avoid filling the prisons at the end of the day. Because these are the students who will come out to the society and these are the people who must live according to the social norms of the people, these are the people who the state expects to live according to the laws of the land. So living according to the rules and regulations of the school is a particular training that the child needs to acquire so that at the end of the whole education exercise he becomes a good citizen. I believe teachers are entrusted with a responsibility that is very hard. Therefore it is even going to be harder, if certain blockages are put before teachers in rectifying the lives of the students. Honestly speaking, it is a very difficult profession. And I would say it is important for teachers to punish but punishment must have a degree and punishment must match the crime committed. But if we cry down punishment generally I think we are not being fair to the students themselves because some of them don't know what they are doing and we are making the work of the teachers more difficult and we are jeopardizing the well-being of our nations......

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Teachers ­ Bureng Upper Basic School Impression about discipline in school Teacher-Male: Most of the students do take as right that since this corporal punishment has been eradicated from the system then they will never pay heed to the advice given to them by the teachers. In the final analysis they do go home without any advice being taken. And whatsoever is being advised for them to do, particularly studies, is still negative. So that has greatly hindered the progress of their performance in our school system. Forms of corporal punishment practiced Teacher- Male: I use the cane to punish not exceeding five lashes. In the case of a boy I beat on the buttocks and in the case of a girl I beat on the hand. Teacher-Male: I will send the individual out when lesson is on or sometimes I will give the individual, may be, an assignment to do at home as a form of punishment. What are some of the things that prompt you teachers to use corporal punishment? Teacher-Male:.... Some of the female students, for example, they practice bleaching in the school. We realize that a particular student is bleaching we first of all advice the student to stop the bleaching. If she insists and we happen to get hold of any we punish. When we opened here we advised them that we do not want bleaching in the system... Teacher-Male: Sometimes absenteeism seems to be very rampant here. This is caused as a result of the `lumo'. Many of these students used to go their with their donkey carts to look for money. So as a result they keep away from school. So we came up with a measure that if you are going to be absent from school you should produce a medical certificate from the health center or you seek permission prior to your going. In the event that you are going somewhere, before leaving you seek permission from the authorities so that they can know your whereabouts because students sometimes they will put on the uniform but they stay away from school. And some they stay in class without copying notes. Such students they need to be punished.... Is corporal punishment justifiable? Teacher-Male: We have realized that punishing some of these students it acts as a deterrent for some of the crimes that they commit in the school system. Because I could cite an example that when a student was caught stealing, in fact it was a group involved in the stealing case. But when that was brought to our notice we punished the culprits and once we punished them up to now we have never realized such an incident in the school... Teacher-Male (Quranic teacher): ... I think we should have punishments that would not harm the students in the school system so that they would serve as lessons for others. Alternatives

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Teacher- Male: By wearing the symbol. That is a form of showing the person that what you did is wrong. If you say no vernacular speaking and the student violates that rule, you can ask the person to wear the symbol. Another form of punishment is asking the student to write down a number of lines. In that way we feel that you are trying to help the student to improve his or her hand writing. From that he or she would desist from that particular action and turn to the right action. Teacher-Male: We also set up a guidance and counseling unit here. Suppose we find out that a student has developed a disruptive behaviour or attitude then we resort to calling that counseling unit to talk to that student, may be advice and find out what result to that disruptive behaviour. Incidents Teacher-Male: When I was in school a child committed an offence and he accepted to be punished but later whenever they wanted to punish him he would run away. Finally, he left school. Now that man is a drop out. He dropped out of school because of that punishment. Teacher-Male: When I was in school I committed a crime. I was flogged by my own brother, Mr. Bah. That actually made me to change because at first I was always lazy, coming to school without pen... In this case that was a reaction, a positive reaction because we know that positive reactions are often rewarded than negative ones. So that was a positive experience I had. Teacher-Male: I have seen one recently. That child was beaten and he sustained some injuries in the hand. Then we met that child that day but he did not go to school because that hand was swollen. I think we must be careful when we punish students not to cause harm to them. Teacher-Male: There was a case when a teacher had a problem with a boy and he decided to slap the boy. When they closed at the end of the day they were going home and the boy waited for the teacher to come out of the school. He stabbed the teacher with a compass and that resulted in the expulsion of the boy and the teacher sustained some injuries around the chest. Teacher-Male: As a teacher I say corporal punishment should be abolished. It is not the best solution. There are many ways to kill a bird. Corporal punishment cannot make the students to learn. There are other methods we could use such as motivational methods, counseling. Because there are other students punishing them will not make them to change. But if you counsel them they start to change. Even as a teacher if a student misbehaves in class you should not send that individual out. You can allow the individual to continue with the lessons. After the session there could be many ways to punish that individual. You can even ask the individual to come out either to clean the whole of the classroom block or to come out and pick up papers within the school premises. Teacher-Male: To me I think Corporal punishment should not be abolished because sometimes if some of these students are not punished their performance always drop...Most of us the time we were going to school it was very terrible. Teachers used to beat us. Teacher-Male (Quranic Teacher): Even in Islam Allah, who creates us, punishes us. There are three types of people: there are those who understand once you talk to them. Some others cry when you admonish or embarrass them. But some others you have to punish. So if they say 114

punishment should be abolished it does not mean we should abolish all and every form of punishment. Some people only know what to do when they are punished. ... When we were in school they used to beat us so severely that even to sit down would become difficult. We only need to know out limit when beating children. We need to only minimize the effect on children. Allah has laid down punishment so that we would remember the consequences when we want to commit a bad deed. Teacher-Male: Any way I also feel that corporal punishment should still be in place in schools. It cannot help the child in any way to learn but we use it in order to help the child to change in certain behaviours that he or she developed. So we use it basically on those people. But it does not help the child to learn. Teacher-Male: There are certain individuals you have to beat them. It is the only thing that can change them. There are people by talking they can change automatically. There are other people they are shy and simple and if you cal them and advice them they do not do what is forbidden. But for some a cane has to be used. To me it should not be abolished totally but there should be a room for those who make a grievous case. Teachers ­ Jappineh Upper Basic School What are some of the disciplinary problems in the school or community? What is your impression of discipline? Teacher-Male: This is something we must trace from the home. Everything starts from the homes. These days if you look at the situation it is really embarrassing. These children come from homes and transport their disrespect to the schools. So it is the same thing that continues, from the school back to the home. It is a chain. The parents have failed in their responsibilities. Teacher-Male: It seems that what is happening is that parents and even the children take part in making certain rules and regulations and yet they violate them. So which means they are not sincere when they are making those rules. Disciplinary problems Teacher-Male: ..... Kids are totally spoilt. I think we need to have more sensitization and orientation on what is the right of the child. At least these kids would know all that we are working towards is for their future development. Teacher-Male: We, the teachers, will be in trouble because of the misconceptions about child rights. We will definitely be in trouble. Because of the misconceptions some of them will come with knives and guns to stab or kill. That is not a right but they are taking the misconceptions..... Teacher-male: Anyway, we have more problems here. This is my fourth year in this school. We have instances when children will come with cutlasses to school and some even wanting to attack the principal.... Students will come and be smoking. They will be labelling teachers on walls in the school. If you go around the toilets you will see some nasty statements about some of these teachers. Very unacceptable! 115

Last year one of our female teachers was attacked by a student who fought the female teacher at her own home. I think teachers' lives are at risk now.... I think if we are to do away with corporal punishment-I am not obviously saying that we should be beating; no teacher likes to beat a student- but there are certain levels, I think we should mold the students. In trying to mold them, if we are to at least abolish corporal punishment, we try to bring counseling. We make sure that there is a counselor in every school, from primary to senior secondary school. These people will be counseling children, parents and teachers. Incidents at the homes Teacher-Male: ....The whole issue of this corporal punishment sometimes when you look at it you can make a conclusion that children, as far as they are concern or as far as child rights is concern, they should not even be disturbed. No teacher should talk to them; nobody should even interfere with their private business which is quite impossible. We are here as facilitators and guardians. So we cannot see them blundering and leave them like that. They have to be subdued. If they don't want that then they go away, they go home. And then sometimes, I don't know, when teachers go and attend these workshops on child rights when they come back, I don't know whether it is because of the money that is given to them or what, but sometimes they don't put the right message into these children. Can you imagine a teacher attended a workshop and then came and said `any way, we attended a workshop and they say no teacher should beat a child.' So we cannot understand. Sometimes it is even confusing, this whole idea of corporal punishment, whether they are saying no corporal punishment at all or a specific corporal punishment. Alternative punishments Teacher-Male: When you think of corporal punishment sometimes we even find it very difficult to suggest another alternative because anything you want to think about you feel that it is a corporal punishment. As a result, you are left with nothing absolutely to implement or use. It is a real problem.... You cannot even imagine the type of punishment to give these children. Teacher-Male:....Most of the time any alternative measure that you want to bring up it has its disadvantage. Like if you want to say a child is disturbing, come out, come and stand in front here, if he or she comes out and is no more looking at the blackboard while you are teaching, that is a disadvantage to the child. If you send him or her out of the class, that is the worst of all. He or she is not learning any more. If you suspend him we call that a great lost. Most of these alternative measures also have disadvantages. Teacher-Male: .... So when corporal punishment is happening it has its own long term effects. That child that you punish so seriously will never forget that. He or she will never forget that and would not think of what led to that punishment but would see you as an enemy for ever. So I think we should all work together to come up with a strategy that could be used in schools that would at least reduce disturbance in schools. 116

Teacher-Male:...The book on alternatives to corporal punishment is not circulated to schools and teachers are not being sensitized about that. I think if each and every teacher has it and is very conversant with it I think we will be able to handle students in the right way. What is corporal punishment? Teacher-Male: Corporal punishment is any form of punishment that creates an unconducive atmosphere for learning for any child. Is corporal punishment justifiable? Teacher-Male: As for me it is justifiable because there is no other punishment to give...Our lives are at risk, we the teachers, because there is nothing we can do. The misconception is one. Then you people have to make a thorough sensitization for this misconception, for them not to misinterpret this child's rights, because they are misinterpreting it presently. Teacher-Male: It is justifiable given the situation, the gravity of the punishment and the type of punishments. Because we have to understand that we have three different individuals in the classroom. There are some students just disgrace them once they will never repeat that action. There are some you have to counsel them they will never repeat the bad action that they have done. There are some it is only stick language they understand. You have to try and establish what type of student is this, what type of punishment you are going to levy on this individual to make the individual change..... We all have to work towards a common goal that is helping this child. Let us try as much as possible to help these children. They are very young. It is extremely difficult to help them because when you are helping somebody and he or she does not recognise that you are helping him/or her it becomes extremely difficult and frustrating...and most of the time that is what we have in such situations. I think you people should come upcountry here. Honestly, children in Kombo area, at most, are more disciplined than children we have here.... Teachers Jangjanbureh Basic Cycle School Impression of the discipline of children in the school and community Teacher-Male: In those days, we or the teachers control their students. They control their behaviour. They punish them. They give negative reward and positive reward as well. But nowadays that system has broken down because without negative rewards you cannot also give positive rewards. So everything has been intermixed. So that brought in difficulties. I don't know the other teachers but for me in particular I vowed that I would not discipline students again in the sens e that I would not give corporal punishment because of the experience I have already experienced. But, however, there are certain interests or my interests areas are diverse because sometimes, especially for those students who are hardworking, I give them positive reward if they do something for me or if I command them to do something and then they do that for me then I praise them. I give them something.

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Teacher-Male: In the community also we have diverse issues there also because in some areas discipline is thoroughly maintained. For example parents beat their children as much as possible. That is just geared towards the maintaining of discipline among them. But in other places again it is a loose thing because people don't care about each other. You cannot beat your own child in some communities and that is bringing in a lot of problems in our places. Methods of discipline Teacher-Male: There are so many ways that a child can be disciplined. But in our African context beating is the number one priority, because that is the quickest way of dealing with someone if he does wrong. Yes, that is in our African context. Beating is one of the fundamentals of maintaining discipline among children. Forms of indiscipline of children in the community Teacher-Male: Disrespect towards parents or may be doing acts that are evil or that brings in negative consequences in our society. Teacher-Male: .... I have remembered after attending a workshop on child rights we sensitized the students but after that there was an incident which scared many teachers. A teacher punished a student and it was then reported to police and the teacher was detained. So thereby, after all, all the teachers said what they would like to do is now to fold their hands, leave students to do whatever they want and actually which not all the teachers supported. Some teachers said it is better we guide them. If we just leave them, just deliver our lessons in the class and just go out like that is not going to build their morals. So teachers we are here to teach them academically and as well build them up, mold them so that they become good future leaders. So this is why some teachers they withdraw from punishing them but some teachers they are still trying to at least come up with solutions or ways and means of disciplining them. Teacher-Male: In my own opinion just like when we saying corporal punishment is abolished in school, to me it seems as if you are making teachers' work easy for them. If a teacher punishes a student and this particular is detained it is just like helping somebody to be good in the future and you are detained for that particular matter. Then it seems that you are making teachers' work easier. So now it simply means teachers come to school, teach but don't discipline. I think that then what we do is you have one police man to come in the school and discipline students in the school and teachers continue on their classroom management. If that is what you want then you will get that one. You have a policeman in every school and teachers would concentrate on the chalk and board. You are making teachers' work easier because it is just like putting somebody among lions and tying his hand and then seizing his gun. So how is he going to do? As teachers it is not our intention to punish just for the sake of punishing. We have positive and negative rewards. If I give my students a test and they do very well at times the person who takes first and second I give them D25 or D10 to go and share. We love them but I don't know what prompted the system to bring up these things. This does not suit our system in any way. It does not suit the African system in any way.

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Forms of punishment used Teacher-Male: The problem here is these children are told about these child rights. This has brought in more trouble than good in society. What we should do is to show them, for example, the rules that are connected to those actions that they are doing and then later on we discipline or may be we bring in our rules upon them. That is, we punish them in our own way. Teacher-Male: ... I will advise the child to stop what he or she is doing. Thereby if he insists doing it may be I ask him to kneel down. That is, if the person is sleepy I ask him to stand up just for some time after I ask him to sit down so that he or she can concentrate. Teacher-Female: If it was I will ask you not to do it again... and if you insist you do it again I will ask you to go and kneel down. Teacher-Male: If you misbehave in my class I will ask you to go out. If you refuse to go out I pack and go out since our hands are tied. Teacher-Male: Teachers should discipline the students in the classroom when they are disturbing or when they are misbehaving badly in the classroom. At times I will advice them to keep quiet. If they don't keep quiet I send the children to go out or I will detain them after school. I detain them in the classroom for one hour, two hours, one hour thirty minutes or at times thirty minutes. I send them home. I ask them to clean the classroom before gong home. Teacher-Male For me whenever a child misbehaves in my class I normally cane that individual or I detain him. I punish him to sweep this place classroom or the surroundings after school. That is what I normally do. Incidents Teacher-Male: Yes it once happened to me because when I was in Brikamaba there was a particular child in my class who was sick. He was suffering from a chronic disease for a long period of time. Now it happened that one day I was punishing the children in the class although I was not even using a proper stick. I was smacking them like that and then later on I realized that what I had done to that boy disturbed him. I myself felt that case very seriously. That once happened to me. But let me also tell you that when I was in Armitage here this present principal, Mr. Haffner, there was a particular day that he met us in the town and the following day he beat us in his office there. In fact it was our vice principal who told him to beat us. So he beat us and then afterwards it was up to about 2 weeks when I go to the class I don't sit on the chair like this. You see what I mean. But even today I know that what Mr. Haffner did to me was the right thing because without his beating me like this I would have failed my examination. So you have to look at the two things and then balance them. Sometimes these beatings bring in good things to the child himself. He will only know it when he grows up. But sometimes because of our situation or circumstance that prevails, of course children sometimes suffer from the beatings of the teacher especially those who are weak or who are ill because of one reason or another.

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Teacher-Male: Some students cannot understand. Some are donkeys. Teacher-Female: Some of these students when you use the cane that is the time they behave well. Others they are donkeys even if you use the cane. Teacher-Male:...I could remember when I was at the Lower Basic our principal's felt pen got lost. So what he did was he gathered the whole school and started caning everyone. He said the felt pen must be out or he would punish the whole school. We were not able to find it because if you don't have something you cannot produce it. So he decided to punish everybody. From that gathering there was, I could remember, a student who vowed not to come back to school again. So that was the reason why that girl dropped out.... Alternatives to corporal punishment Teacher-Male: Cleaning the classroom. Teacher-Male: Suspending them for two weeks or three weeks from school. When they realize that their colleagues are learning in their absence they will try to do something about it. Teacher-Male: I will advice them. But you would hear them say they are not afraid of that teacher because he or she does not beat them. Sometimes students are funny. Teacher-Male Advice is one of the most effective ways of rewarding a child. Strong advice is more effective than a stick. But you know what cause all these problems? Sometimes the teachers will be in such a mood and in fact sometimes what a child will do to a teac her will provoke him to such an extent that you will not be able to control your temper at that moment. What is corporal punishment? Teacher-Male Corporal punishment is any kind of punishment which will involve the child to suffer like beating, kneeling down. Teacher-Male Corporal punishment is any punishment that you forward to a child to suffer so that what he did next time he will not do it again. Teacher-Female: Corporal punishment is any kind of punishment that will make a child to suffer. Teacher-Male: Corporal punishment can be defined as any punishment that will not lead to the progress of the child. But beating that leads to the progress of the child is not corporal... Teacher-Male: ....Corporal punishment is a punishment which can give negative effect to the student. Teacher-Male: There is one thing you should understand. In everything there are advantages and disadvantages. So you have to look at a particular point in time in a situation where as it warrants you to use a cane to punish a particular child you use it. It is this `WH' word How and When are you punishing that particular person. What has that particular person done? The punishment and then 120

the wrong that particular person has done there must be a connection and the punishment that you are giving to that particular person. Teacher-Male: I remember year before last, last year even, this boy he just cam right now... That boy he was very rude when he was in Grade 7. In my class I was teaching Islamic Studies, he never attended my class. If I go to that class he never listened to me even. He made a big mistake here and the Vice Principal called all the students in the assembly hall here and beat him very seriously. Now he is the most respectful one in the classroom. At times you can use cane to discipline students and they are disciplined. It is necessary to beat. At times it is necessary to advice them. This boy I used to call him and advise him... but when we beat him in front of his friends he changed automatically. Teacher-Male: You know the problem here is the students can only listen to your advice when you are one of the teachers who normally punish or them. I used to beat but something happened here and a teacher was detained just for punishing a child. That is why I also fold my hand now. I enter the classroom if they are not acknowledging my presence there I pack all my baggage and go out until when they are ready I come in. .... At times if you pack your things and go out they normally pull out that student and then come and pull me. I let them fight for me. How do you feel when you corporally punish a student? Teacher-Male: I feel ashamed and I also feel psychologically disturbed. Teacher-Male: In any educational institution there must be stringent measures. If students are shown to the fact that they are given their rights as such that they know the teachers should not give them corporal punishment and so forth that is the more they will become notorious, that this the time that they can stand up and even provoke their teachers. That is the only time that they themselves can bring evil things to the school in fact because they will know that corporal punishment now will not be levied on them. Those one have effects on the children. Remember that sometimes the situations in the schools become so precarious that you will not be able to do those types of corporal punishment without the stick. If you now tell the students to stand up in front of the class and do monkey dance without using a cane you will not force them. They will not do it. Sometimes you have to handle a cane and threaten them before they do your punishment. That is what they are used to at home. That is the way they are brought up. So now if they come to up to Grade 7, Grade 8 or Grade 9 and you want to change the system you are just wasting your time. Teacher-Male: ...During our time a teacher will ask us to memorize something otherwise if you don't memorize if you come to school you will be punished by force. If you go home you will study. But now since they know that there is no beating in schools at night even if the teachers are walking they will say Mr. Camara... because they don't mind any more since there is no punishment. They go out at night and go to bed anytime they want. Parents are looking at them in that way. So they want to come and disturb us teachers in school. We also have no time to waste again. If the system is saying no punishment we fold our hands, sit down, teach and whether they understand or not is their business.... 121

Teacher-Male: If corporal punishment should be abolished in school there should be a mechanism in place that will be able to replace that one. Not necessarily having a police man but I think even the PTA members can be involved in disciplinary measures. For example if a child does something that is against the rules of the school and the school cannot discipline the child they can call the members of the PTA to come and they see what will happen. If the child will not be expelled they themselves can see what they are going to put on the child. I think such type of mechanisms can also help the school. Teacher-Male:....That is why now the system as in Grade 7 or Grade 9 they cannot even copy from the blackboard. Even to copy they draw what the teacher is writing on the blackboard. ...What can you do? It is because the system has become unbecoming. The teachers' hands are tied and the only way to help some students is by caning them so that if they go they would remember... Teacher-Male: If I go to a particular class and ask that the class to keep quiet they will not keep quiet until and unless I bring a cane in front of them. They will be quiet until I leave that classroom. Otherwise they will not keep quiet. They will keep on disturbing. Teacher-Male:...Sometimes classroom rules can also do well. Because if you agree upon, may be the whole class, you agree on some rules and you abide by those rules for sure it would help a lot. ... Effects Teacher-Male: The time I was in Bansang all the students fear me. I would go and pass order and say `students if you come to school in the morning that is go and enter in your classroom instead of standing outside. Enter in your class otherwise if I come and find anyone standing outside I will ask the class captain and if he refused to tell me who is standing outside I punish him. The moment I step at the school gate, you see all of them running, entering in the classrooms. And that is because of corporal punishment and that is a good effect because they all enter, clean their tables and start reading their books. So you see that is a good effect of it. It can only have a bad effect if you use it wrongly, with your temper. That is why I have defined corporal punishment as punishment that will have negative effect on the child but not a positive effect. Is corporal punishment justifiable? Teacher-Male: Yes it is justifiable. It depends on why you are punishing. Why are you punishing that particular child? May be you know at times some teachers punish because they are pushing and pulling with a child on one girlfrie nd. You love a girl and the student loves that particular girl so you are pushing and pulling or there is a crash. In that particular form when you are punishing that child you punish it abnormally. But if you are punishing that particular child to be good tomorrow is different. Is corporal punishment an effective form of punishment?

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Teacher-Male: Because these big, big girls, if you want to call and advice them, once you call one girl they will start saying this is his girlfriend. But if you punish them they will know this one has no connection. Teacher-Male: Is an effective form of disciplining a student because the moment I enter in a class and ask them to be quiet they will not. They can only be quiet when I use a cane. Teacher-Female: Yes sometimes it is effective. If you look at me am a small teacher so the only way to control my classroom, I usually go to the classroom with a stick. Once they saw me with that stick that is the time they keep quiet. But if I go empty-handed they keep on making noise. It is effective sometimes. Teacher-Male: To me is again a dynamic thing. Because for example in a classroom situation, when I am teaching in a class at that time I don't punish. I don't even beat a child because I know that if I start beating there are some children in the class who easily get frightened. Whenever I start using the stick they will not learn again. At that time I don't beat whenever I am teaching in the class. But for example to maintain the children within the school and may be to punish them based on the bad things that they have done for example fighting and insulting and so forth in that case I punish them. I beat. Teacher-Male: Yes to an extent is effective not only on my own side but on their own side also. They will try to respect the school rules at that time. Teachers ­ Bansang Upper Basic School What is corporal punishment? Teacher-Male: Corporal punishment that means the use of punishment that can cause harm on a child with the intention of doing it. But sometimes we the teachers may not intend to punish in order to wound. We only do it to rectify the students. During the punishment it can now tend to be corporal. But to our own understanding it is not corporal.... Punishments also differ depending on the crime committed. You could be asked to kneel down, to be caned or you could be asked to do a labour work. Can corporal punishment have any effect (positive or negative) on the education of the child? Teacher-Male: We feel that this forum here is putting teachers in a very funny corner for the simple reason that these facts should have been centred on teachers for the first time. Students should not have been informed in the first place without the consent of the school teachers. Students, after they have had their meetings we met them in their various classes they were telling us that we are now happy that we have known our rights. Teachers are in funny situations because they feel they are misled in one way or the other that they must not be punished. We feel that the punishment that we levy on student have a positive reaction on the students in terms of their education. If you look at the education system of The Gambia today some of the reasons why people say standards are falling, the issue of punishment is all a contributor. When we were all going to school we used to be punished. We fear our teachers. We fear our teachers 123

for no other reason but because of the corporal punishment that was levied against us. These children nowadays they do not fear us for the simple reason that they are hearing a lot of sources from different donors. This we feel is degrading the educational system of The Gambia.... We must use the cane if the children have to hear us and understand us. Even in our own school system here we know certain people when they stand before the class the class is quiet and the students ask questions. And there is that issue of child-centred method of teaching.. But when the children don't have that fear, that zeal, in them they do not even pay attention. They don't take heed to what you are talking to them about. So if we don't induce punishment, if we are doing nothing, we come to the school, we shout on the children. They don't respect us as what s going on now. Children are almost disregarding teachers. Go to the classes. If you ask the children how many of them would want to become teachers, they would laugh at you. Why? Because there is no respect attach to it. We are not given the due. If we are given all rights, all powers on the children we will definitely live like education yesterday. Despite that few were going to school, we were having quality education. Now a lot are going to school but we have lot of bogus school leavers. There is no quality in education. Personally I feel with corporal punishment things will go right. Teacher-Male: I think even this issue of punishment should first look at what is happening in the homes... If we say no corporal punishment in schools I think we should start at homes because even the child who is crawling can be punished... I was beaten. We were beaten in dozens, from 12, 24, 36, 48, and yet still that does not mean that we were afraid of our teachers. We used to go to our teachers' rooms, discuss with them.... Because of this child rights business they are talking of that is bringing slavery... Quranic Teacher-Male: If you look at the corporal punishment now in the Gambian education system, this is creating more problems for the teachers because we want to copy western style. In the West they start from the home. Children will be free at home but they will teach them to comply with the laws and to know what is correct and wrong. So from there the child will comply with the laws wherever he is. To have a right you have to attach responsibility there. Children know their rights only but what about their responsibilities. Nobody tells them. Quranic Teacher-Male: Let those NGOs start to teach the parents at home how to control or handle their children at home. They put strict laws on the street. Don't create tension in the schools because according to my opinion you are creating tension in the school. When the father fails to control or refuses to beat his children at home how can you tell me not to beat them? If the students are fighting among each other and mocking the teachers what are we supposed to do? You must start from the home. Teacher-Male: We were punished before that is why we are here today. Those who were not very serious with education ran away to their homes when they wanted to punish them at the school or would refuse to take the punishment. They are the drop outs now.. They are now the bandits in the streets. So we the students who accepted the punishments are the teachers now, teaching other students.... The advice from you people should be if you are punishing, punish civilizely, punish in a way that will not harm the student.... My advice to you people as researchers is let your recommendations be in line with the views of the teachers at large. Otherwise if you listen to the views of these students and other people there will be a real problem in the education system. 124

Presently the problem we are facing is caused by the absence of this corporal punishment. And in your recommendations please make sure it is in line with the promotion of this punishment but let it be done constructively. What is your impression of discipline in the school? Teacher-Male: The level of discipline within the students in this school in particular is not the least satisfactory. That is why we the teachers are emphasizing on corporal punishment. The punishment of these children is making them to be molded in a good way. Students are molesting and insulting teachers openly. Students are behaving very rudely on us. Students are behaving very badly in the classroom. Teacher-Male: The only weapon that we have as teachers is the cane. Once you want to maintain the total discipline of any class here you have to use the cane. There is no word or advice that you can give these children other than the cane. That is what they can understand. How do you feel when you punish the students? Teacher-Male: Nobody feels like punishing. Now left to me alone nobody will punish if at all they are following the rules and regulations of the school.... Nobody likes to punish but conditions force us to do it. But we really feel bad to punish them because we feel if we are put under the same condition we are going to feel the pain. Teacher-Male: If the individual changes you feel happy that you have achieved something. That is the feeling I think. But at that point in time I don't think you will feel happy that you are punishing. I don't think so. Alternatives Teacher-Male: Detention could be one method. After school you can ask the child to stay for some time and you assign him or her to a particular kind of job. If this is possible, I think that could also change. Teacher-Male: I don't think we can have a better method or devise than the stick.... I think they should try to find out why standards in education are falling. If they find the answers they would know that one of the reasons why standards are on the ground now is because children are becoming aware of their rights. Incident (happened at Chargel Village) Male-Mandinka: Not long ago, in one of the neighboring villages a woman burnt her child because she said she was disciplining the child. The child eventually died. The woman was taken away and imprisoned by the court. Parents - Bansang Problems you face in disciplining children?

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Male-Wollof:......If you send your child or ask you child to do something and he or she refuses, you cannot even use force. If you use force he or she will take you to the police. And every day they are saying on the radio that we should not beat women and children. Male-Wollof: Discipline is very important for the country. If discipline is not part of education it would not progress the way we want it... but before we can discipline children, we the adults have to be disciplined first. If you are not disciplined, your child would not be disciplined.... It will be very difficult for teachers to educate or teach and discipline children at the same time. I have to discipline my child first before I ask a teacher to discipline him or her for me. What form of punishment is effective and what are the alternatives? Male-Wollof: I can say that personally I am disciplined. What my father forbade me to I never did. Now if I forbid my child from doing something and wants to take action against him or her, the mother would take the side of the child. If I want to take action against the mother, her relatives will support her. In the long run that child will be out of your control... Beating and insults are not effective forms of discipline. You can advice and admonish children and show them the right path. When that child grows up he or she would appreciate the advice you have given him or her... Children should be disciplined in the homes. You should be disciplined first before you can discipline your child. Beating cannot make a child disciplined. Is the discipline parents give children beneficial to them or not? Male-Wollof: The type of discipline that we are practicing here is not beneficial to children at all. Every morning you give your child D1 and tell him or her to go to school. You are not sure if that child has actually gone to school or not. You do not go to enquire from the headmaster whether or not your child is actually in school, and yet you want to say you child is being disciplined. You are not disciplining that child, you do not like him or her.... If the child fails we blame the teacher or say the master is bad. But how can the teacher teach a child he rarely sees in school? Male-Wollof: If you want blessing in whatever work, trade or profession you do, then beating must be an integral part of it. If you don't want to be beaten then don't learn a trade/profession..... There would be beating in schools and daras. Anybody who is learning would have to be beaten. I was myself beaten. Male- Mandinka: Discipline of children is the responsibility of both the mother and the father. If there is understanding and co-operation between the parents, the children will listen to their advice. But if there is always discrepancy or conflict between what the mother and father tells them, the disciplining of the children would be very difficult.... Parents ­ Nioro Jataba Impression of the discipline of children in the community Male- Mandinka:.... In our community, the way discipline was and what it is now are not the same. Children are in school and under the control of teachers who are afraid to beat them because they fear the parents. The teachers are saying `if I beat this child I might have problem with the father.' 126

And the fathers are only interested in their children attending school. In the past it was not like that. What used to prevail and what is happening now are completely different. If a child does something wrong you do not need to take a big stick or your fist. Take a stick or a rope and beat the child so that he or she knows that he or she is beaten because he or she did something wrong. That child will not repeat that bad thing. But now that era has passed because if you beat a child and it goes beyond the limit the child will report you to the police for causing lacerations on his or her body and the police would then come for you. Can you imagine your own children or wife? The police would tell you statements you won't like. This has also retarded a lot of things.... The child has someone to support or fight for him or her while the parent has no such support.... This has caused a lot of problems. You cannot beat another person's child and you cannot beat yours too because if you cause blood to come out of the child's body you would be taken to the authorities concerned. But talking cannot discipline a child. Empty words are merely statements the child would not hear. It is like pouring or sprinkling water on a stone. It only runs and stops. A child does not fear Allah but fear the stick. A child will not be disciplined if you don't use the stick. The stick is the only thing children understand... Discipline is what benefits a child, the parents and the neighbours. Male- Mandinka: The indiscipline of children cannot benefit anyone be it your own child or somebody else's child. If a child is not disciplined his or her trouble or bad deeds would affect you in one way or the other... Children are not disciplined and if one complains the parents would say `I cannot do anything about him or her.' If a parent is unable control his or her own child who else would be able to do that? Male- Mandinka: Children do not learn from just talking. Only very few children listen to the words of parents. If there are 20 children only 5 would hear the words of parents. The other 15 do not listen. The stick is what can discipline children. If you discipline a child with the stick he or she goes to report you. Then your misfortune or troubles start. The police would come for you and ask why you have beaten your child. If you tell the police you are disciplining the child they would ask if that is the way to discipline children. And that is the only way to discipline children. You do not beat to kill him or her. You beat so that he or she would become a good person in the future. There would therefore be a difficulty if someone comes between you and that beating... Male- Mandinka:....It is true children are indiscipline but parents too have a share in the blame. There is a specific period or stage when you can discipline a child and you can do it very well. It becomes difficult when the child passes that stage. Hitherto or in the past if a child reaches the age of 7 years he or she is enrolled into the `karanta'. You teach the child your values and customs. You teach the child your attitudes. He learns those things, knows them and grows up with them. Then if you want to discipline that child you would be able to do it in any way you want. But elders do not have time for all things because of love for money. Once they enroll a child in school that is the end. You would no longer teach the child your attitudes, customs or values. You leave the child to teachers who also have their limitations. Teachers have obligations towards the children but parents too have these obligations. But parents have failed in their obligations and that is harming the children. Male- Mandinka: .....Jaliba said a child is like a mud. It dries up in the way you mould or shape it. I truly believe these words. Parents are neglectful towards the issues of children... I think they should do more. They should teach the children their attitudes and the values of Islam. They should not leave everything in the hands of the `white man' alone. 127

Incidents at school Male- Mandinka: There was an incident which involved our children who used to go to Dumbutu for schooling. They were severely beaten by a teacher and all five of them returned home. We then went to Dumbutu and summoned the whole village. We told the villagers that we brought our children to learn in their village school but that the teachers were subjecting them to severe beating which was impairing their education. The villagers said they were going to send that particular teachers out of the village but we begged them not to do that. We told them we were going to transfer our children to another school but the villagers did not agree to that proposal too. Eventually, they agreed not to expel the teacher and we too did not transfer our children to another school. The students and that particular teacher became friends until the children graduated from that school. Male- Mandinka: .... Nowadays there is no discipline. The kids lack home training.... In the past teachers used to help parents in disciplining children. But that is not happening now. The Government is now talking about child rights. Even if a child does something wrong in the class the teacher has no right to beat that child. So the only thing the teacher can do is to intimidate or threaten that child. Even the children now know that teachers are afraid of beating them or cannot beat them. So if a child is rude or indiscipline at home and the parent reports the matter to the teachers, the only thing the teacher can do is to advise that child.... Apart from that you cannot do anything. Even in homes children lack home training. They are not trained by parents. The elders are not training their children now... A child is like a new cassette. The cassette would only contain what is put into it. Whatever a child learns or sees in the compound when he or she is young is what stays with him or her. Forms of discipline Male- Mandinka: You need to talk to a child at times. Advice can also discipline a child. But there is no dialogue between parents and their children even when they grow up. It is very rare for you to see a child and the parent discussing and talking about the things that would benefit the child in the future. Only very few parents do that. It seems parents and their children feel embarrass to talk to each other.... So it seems everybody is neglectful or indifferent- the government, parents and children. And it is these parties that can cooperate to discipline children. Parents ­ Pakalinding Impression of discipline in your community Male- Mandinka: We want them to learn but what you people want will not happen. How can you insult the person who is imparting knowledge in you? What is the benefit of you education? There is no benefit in it. Male- Mandinka: .... As we progress women cannot be the only disciplinarians. Both men and women have to support each other and discipline the children. If you go to some school there are students who go to classes with earrings. Some would not even comb their hair. In our days and those of our elders, children used to be afraid of their teachers. They run away if they see a

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teacher. If the following day is going to be school, you dare not go out that night. I think the fact that all these things are no more have contributed to the indiscipline of children in the country. Male- Mandinka:..... Discipline has faded in school because teachers are falling in love with their students. If teachers fall in love with their students how can the students respect them? Male- Mandinka: This is how I see the issue: if you disregard your custom and traditions, you would follow someone else's. You would not thoroughly understand the custom you have followed and yours would have escaped you. Discipline is central in religion. If we want to follow the custom and traditions of the white man we would only regret it in the future. Let us discipline our children because they are supposed to be disciplined. We have respect because our parents disciplined us. No parent would hate his or her child and wish that child something bad. No teacher would hate a child and beat him or her until that child is wounded. It can happen by mistake... But that is not the teacher's wish which is to correct the child. Let us all cooperate and build the society. We can do that by disciplining the children. Let us not even think of abolishing corporal punishment. Incidents Male- Mandinka: When I was in primary school in my village there was a dance or something like that and we were told not to go there. But some students decided to go there and the prefects wrote their names. The next morning the headmaster beat those students who went to the dance. It was very serious because some the students sustained serious injuries. It ended up as a police case. The police interfered because it was a case of grievous bodily harm. That is the only reason why the police would interfere in such cases. The police do not interfere in the discipline. They interfere because of the injury which could be assault causing grievous bodily harm. If it is a case of minor beating or things like that, the police have little in it. Even if they take you to the police for that it will be a minor case. But the parents should be mindful of causing grievous bodily harm. Even if you are beating you won child you should be mindful of that because if you exceed the limit, the law will take its course on you. So that is why the police interfere in such cases. People should bear that in mind but not to discipline. That is out. Alternatives to corporal punishment Male- Mandinka: In my opinion and considering the way you people have defined, it will be very difficult to have alternatives. The way you have defined corporal punishment, it will be difficult to eradicate it completely within our communities. As I see it, since it would be hard to be eradicated, we should make corporal punishment light and not make it harsh or severe on children. Eradicating corporal punishment within our communities will be very difficult. Male- Mandinka: In my opinion we should not eradicate corporal punishment. That is out of it. The only thing we can do is to sensitize people to ensure the punishments are light, to beat the child in such a way that he or she is not harmed...... Male- Mandinka: We all have our families. They say people who are going into a canoe have the same intention since they would not like any one of them to take an axe and hack canoe. Our 129

interest is to make our families good and this calls for a collective endeavour and support.... Our elders used to teach children about the meanings of facial expressions. To know `faces' or facial expressions could contribute a lot to make children discipline. This has nothing to do with using the stick or beating. The elders employed that strategy with us....... We should all know that the law forbids beating no matter if you are the parent, teacher or breadwinner. The law forbids all forms of punishment. Since we cannot eradicate it from the community we should minimize it. Some people now know their rights so if you beat them they will take you to the police. If the case is not resolved there then it could go to the court..... Male- Mandinka: Children are spoilt because of this child rights. Male- Mandinka: Beating a child just for the pleasure is wrong. But if one beats a child in order to correct or discipline him or her and not exceed the limit, then it is appropriate. Male- Wollof: I have 21 children and thus I am a family man. We need to beat these children. In principle I have resoled no to beat my children. No one likes to beat your children. But children nowadays do not have respect and if children know that there would be no beating that is when they commit more crimes or troubles. If I advise some of my children they understand me and abide by what I say. I don't beat them. But if I don't beat some of them they would not know that I am on the right. I threaten some of them to take me seriously. These are the reasons why I say children need to be beaten. Charity begins at home. The discipline of children must start at the home. Parents need to put their children on the straight and narrow so that if they go out people would not think of beating or doing something to them. Parents ­ Jangjanbureh Disciplinary problems in your community Male-Mandinka: Indiscipline is a problem every where in The Gambia, not only with children. Even in offices, workers are indiscipline.... Offices are characterized by maladministration. There are all forms of indiscipline Male-Mandinka: When we were young, they used to beat or tie us, lock us in the room or even deny us food. The type of discipline in schools is worrisome. The government needs to look into it very seriously. You see if children do something wrong or bad and they say teachers should not beat them, it will make the children disrespectful towards their teachers. Children should be disciplined by teachers at school. If children go to school with indiscipline, the teachers should discipline them.... Teachers are afraid of beating children. Incidents Male-Mandinka: .....Teachers should have limitation in the manner they beat children. Beating a child as if he or she is an adult is wrong and this can annoy a parent. I beat my children. Every parent beats his or her child. But that does not mean I should beat until I break the head. Teachers should know how to beat. 130

Male-Mandinka:....The coming of tourists here has also hampered the schooling of many children. Parents can no longer control them. They are always following the tourists. That has caused some difficulty for us here. The education of many children has been retarded because of that.... A child needs to be controlled....The parent needs not be soft or lenient with the child. If you are merciful towards the child you would not be able to control him or her. He would go and destroy his life and future. .... In this age if you beat another person's child the parent takes you to the police. Next time if you see somebody else's child committing a wrong, you would not interfere. You would look away. Male-Mandinka: A heavy beating makes a child a donkey. If a child is used to beating he or she would no longer be afraid. But if a child is disrespectful or rude I give you difficult punishments. I will refuse you food or lock you up in the room and would not let you go out. In the morning I would ask you to go and fetch fire wood from the bush. Male-Mandinka: ....The power given to children would make their disciplining very difficult. You the parent would be afraid of beating your child. If you see your child doing a wrong, you would not be able to take certain actions. At the school it is the same thing and worse.... Male-Mandinka:.... We would not be able to set right the things that are happening today. This is because the rights are many and they are in our statute or law books and we have to abide by them. I can say discipline is greater in the home. Male-Mandinka:....Children get discipline from three places- the home, school/dara and the initiation rite. If a child does not have discipline from these three places he or she will never have it. ... The smoking of marijuana is what is destroying the children and making their disciplining very difficult. They go to school `high' or inebriated and try to fight their teachers. We have to arrest this marijuana menace Male- Mandinka: Some people say that introducing western methods into Africa would only make things difficult for us... I think we misunderstood the concept of child rights. Child rights is about teaching or showing a child only those things that are going to benefit him or her. The child should know if these things are going to be harmful to him or her in the future. But one cannot allow or leave a child to go into the fire and call that child's right. That is not child's right. That is hardship or suffering for the child. .... I believe that if we are introducing western methods here it should have a limitation.... Personally I think this child rights is introduced into our society to fight Islam. A parent cannot even punish, insult or beat his or her own child. That is eternal suffering or curse for a child. We should accept corporal punishment in schools but with limit on its usage... This child's right is a disaster. They don't want us to discipline our children even though the children are doing all sorts of bad things. Government should look into the introduction of child rights it is causing a lot of problems in our schools and communities. Old Man-Mandinka: .... You see the discipline of children disappeared when this western education was introduced and intensified. With western education, the discipline of children went away by force.... 131

In the past when children are taken to circumcision, they used to send three to five months in the bush learning how to respect their elders and parents and how to talk to elders. Nowadays, the circumcision is merely pomp and ceremony... Everywhere there is lack of discipline. Incidents Old Man-Mandinka: You will see that some parents would beat their children until they run away, especially if the child is not a member of that family. If the child is a member of the family then he or she would run to the home of the grandparents or uncles.... But beating, even for a donkey, should have a limitation much more for a human being. Beating can make a person either confused and terrified or stubborn and hardened. Forms of discipline Old Man-Mandinka:..... I teach my children my own attitudes. I dislike begging or taking other people's property. Even if you find a thing I would hit your hand... Because the only truth a child tells is so and so is my father or mother, otherwise children do not tell the truth. And wherever a child goes, he destroys unless he or she is controlled. Male-Mandinka: Discipline of children is a collective concern but parents bear t5he greater part of the responsibility. Both the mother and the father should make the discipline of children their main concern. Old Man-Mandinka: ....My own child was once beaten in school and was wounded in the hand. When he showed me I called the teacher who beat him, because I know it was not without reason. When the teacher explained to me I told my child that if he does such a thing again the teacher would beat him severely and if he comes to me I would also beat him....

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APPENDIX VI Interview Responses

Department of Social Welfare 1. Prevalence · · · · · · · · · Highly prevalent in families and schools Corporal punishment exists ­ there are reported cases We have handled child maltreatment cases due to CP CP makes children become violent in attitude When CP is inflicted on young children it builds in a tendency to be violent They become hardened ­ thinking that it is the only way to be corrected Therefore it results in their using fighting and bullying to get their way Adults are using maltreatment to discipline children; they believe it's the only way as opposed to using ways that treat children with dignity Result in children's exposure to corporal punishment even at a young age

2. What is your opinion in regards to: a. Effectiveness · CP is not effective; it is most ineffective · It doesn't help to achieve your aims and it builds a negative, violent result · There are other more effective ways of disciplining that do not harm children · We must also ensure that we are not verbally or physically abusing as this has long -term effects as well · You can discipline using advice and counselling. You can talk to them - mentor them · When a child recalls the incident after being subjected to corporal punishment, it's the abuse that sinks into the mind · Especially when CP is repeated, children learn that it becomes part and parcel of how to handle things b. Necessity · CP is not necessary c. Abolishment · CP should be banned as it encourages violence 3. Role of your department · Create awareness of the effects of CP on children and nation. It has an impact that people need to be aware of · Violent children makes for a crisis in the nation · The effects are not only within family unit or school · It affects their grooming when they see adults in their way of solving problems · CP affects social life and cohesion · Our department can assist in legal reform and encourage more education · We need to document CP to show people its effects · We should make a documentary to show those who are illiterate our message 133

·

Seeing is a good way to convince people

4. Intervention · The children's bureau is a body that would deal with these issues · Schools should develop a code of conduct to abolish CP · Municipalities should also get involved as families are within their jurisdiction · We also need NGOs to come on board 5. Challenges · · · · · The lack of human resources and financial resources These are very necessary in order to effect attitudinal change Physical and verbal abuse usually occurs in conjunction We tend to sideline the verbal aspect which causes deep hurt Non violence needs to be encouraged in general

6. Recommendations · We need to make it part of the curriculum we use to train teachers so that they graduate knowing what they will be facing and how to deal with it · Children need to be targeted in our efforts, they need to be both our partners and our targets · Awareness of CP is not to the extent that it should be · It should be as we did with sexual abuse · CP should be on the national agenda · The president talked about wanting to build peace for a violence-free society · This indicates political support for this · We need to initiate an open campaign Department of State for Justice 1. Prevalence · · · · · · · · · · · Don't deal with public in general, only in terms of prosecution There are no cases dealing with CP in our caseload We have not been asked for witnesses We are the most detached government institution from the public If the laws are reformed then we would have laws that may lead to prosecutions for CP As a department we do not encourage nor do we condone CP though we should consider alternative forms of discipliine We deal with laws from the government's perspective We are about to enact the Children's Bill which will harmonize and reform our laws which can be considered archaic as it includes physical abuse of which CP is an aspect I believe that it is rare. As of 2004, I have yet to see a case file We usually see cases of assault amongst adults Beating is assault 134

· · · ·

I've seen children severely beaten. Even if you go to the police, they don't see it as assault, let alone warranting prosecution Even though CP is abuse, we do not see it as a problem, just part of disciplining Teachers should not be afraid Government is working to update the laws like the Children and Young Person's Act through the Children's Bill

· 2. What is your opinion in regards to: a. Effectiveness · Not as effective as any other punishment · Even though it is legal, even the court does not apply it · There is legislation provided for it, but the judiciary and the courts no longer make such sentences · I can remember in the 80s young men may be sentenced to 10 slashes · I have not heard much of its effectiveness. It must be overrated or its effectiveness is not seen and that is why its being faded out b. Necessity · CP should not be a form of punishment, it is not appropriate as a form of disciple as other forms are more effective · Need uniform definition and understanding of what is appropriate · Verbal "discipline" can also be considered equally abusive, where is the line? · We need to change attitudes and create awareness of standardized criteria c. Abolishment · Yes, most definitely, but rather than jus saying CP should be abolished, we should say that we need to consider other forms of punishment · It should be coupled with education of other non-violent forms of discipline so that we can say, "CP is bad compared to..." 3. Role of your department · Laws relating to CP · The department houses the parliamentary council that drafts the laws · The Attorney General chairs the cabinet sub-committee that recommends legislation · As the head of the Department he can make recommendations with the instructions from other government department who might suggest CP is not appropriate · The Child Rights Unit does not initiate laws, instructions come to us · We can recommend based on legal reasons · We aid in drafting laws initiated through another government department for example, in the case of CP, if we were instructed by the Department for Social Welfare 4. Intervention · Mindset needs to be changed · We need to make that the basis of our interventions 135

5. Challenges · · · · · · ·

CP has been in the system for long time For too long have we allowed extreme abuse to be used as opposed to love Can't draw the line, therefore we need to just say no CP If we can beat the ones we give birth to, where is the love? There are alternatives. Let's explore these rather than go straight for the kill Spanking is how it starts then it goes without stopping To stop we need to change mindsets, but this will take time

6. Recommendations · First we need conduct sensitization about why it's wrong · We should use the press to get to teachers, homes, institutions, and police · Second we need to enact laws to abolish CP, not to criminalize it but to persuade people stop · We should make a declaration that it's wrong so that society no longer validates it Department of State for Education 1. Prevalence · · · · · · · · · · · Minimal because the law doesn't allow it It is only used under specific conditions Teachers are not allowed to cane CP is only done by the headmaster There are some teachers who take the law into their own hands But CP in general is not a serious problem We do not hear cases of childre n being seriously beaten to make it an issue. Only one or two cases now and then but that doesn't make it a problem In the home I can't comment, the Department of Social Welfare would be in a better position to comment Anecdotally, I don't think there is as much CP as when I was a child Because of education, parents tend to apply measures different from caning, etc. Since 40 years ago these methods have declined

2. What is your opinion in regards to: a. Effectiveness · It is very effective in some instances and with some children · Some kids only conform at the sign of the cane even without being beaten by it · It has been argued that for African children, caning is the best way · Teachers sometimes observe cases like this · On a whole, for most it is counter-productive · Generally, it's not effective but in some cases it is b. Necessity · It is necessary but not sufficient · It is necessary in some few cases but not as a measure to be used solely 136

· · c. · · · · · ·

The balance is in favour of other methods most of the time It shouldn't be used in any more than 20% of cases Abolishment I do not think it should be done away with entirely The policies are fine as they are Provisions are provided for circumstances making it possible to apply CP when it is needed Abolishment will make it so that those opportunities where a child needs it will not be available I don't subscribe to complete abolishment, there should be some provisions that allow for punishment I've seen some outrageous behaviour, we can't sit by and allow it to continue

3. Role of your department · Ensure that law is adhered to, so that it is done properly 4. Intervention · Focus on why kids are not listening to their teachers · Some kids are very outgoing and can't focus, perhaps they need to play · Therefore we should see how to accommodate these issues · Provide assistance to accommodate 5. Challenges · We want to understand children, get to know what to do to get them to behave 6. Recommendations · The various departments should have a forum where we talk about punishment, its effects, etc. · It should be a regular forum in which we can share information to address common problems UNICEF 1. Prevalence · CP is a problem that occurs in 99% of homes and schools · It's in the culture; the community, the schools are just an extension of the culture while it is sanctioned by the State · The law does not prohibit CP · It is supposed to occur only under certain conditions even though these are not always followed · It is authorized in juvenile detention and even outside schools 2. What is your opinion in regards to: a. Effectiveness · Many confuse discipline with CP

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· · · b. · ·

Many think that you can't discipline without CP It is not effective at all but get used so often It defeats the purpose of intent Necessity It may be necessary in a very small number of cases, maybe 1% Some children who are naturally stubborn even after you try all other forms of discipline repeatedly · In those cases, some form of CP may be necessary · But it should be over a specific period of time, if it is still not effective after a period, then just need to look otherwise · CP is over used in this culture for very unnecessary things use on some as young as two years old · Children are often beaten for being children asking questions, being clumsy, etc. c. Abolishment · CP should be abolished · It will be easy to enforce in school but in homes it will be a challenge · We must be very careful in addressing the issue however · CP, early marriage, and female genital mutilation are all very contentious issues so we must be careful not to or they will be thrown out along with the idea of child rights 3. Role of your Institution · Advocacy in reforming the laws · Work with the government to create policies to address CP in schools and other institutions · We will help with sensitization and capacity building so that we can address the issue in homes and communities 4. Intervention · Work with the Department of State for Education and teachers to develop alternatives forms of discipline · Work with Peace Corps to conduct trainings and sensitization · Within the juvenile justice system we will work with the lawyers, judges, magistrates, police · Reform laws so that it is illegal to use CP 5. Challenges · Cultural resistance. CP is so ingrained in culture. This is the most difficult challenge · Certainly we need resources and money to do all these things · We need resources or else there will not be enough critical mass to move alternative forms of discipline on to the agenda 6. Recommendations · We need clearly thought-out, well-developed programs to be rolled out

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It may take 5-10 years but we need to begin somewhere We need well-developed community programs to change perceptions of discipline and behaviour in discipline targeted at community and school levels Advocacy needs to continue with politicians to ensure political commitment Religious leaders are key partners as some think it is religious to discipline children this way Some feel that it is their religious duty Imams use a lot of CP. It may be more difficult for those unregistered Quranic schools

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REFERENCES

1Global

Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (2003), Hitting People is Wrong ­ and Children are People too, 2 nd Edition (Nottingham, England: Russell Press). 2 Gershoff, E.T. (2002), "Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviours and experiences: A metaanalytic review", Psychological Bulletin, vol.128, no.4, pp.539-579. 3 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (Ottawa: Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth). 4 Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc CRC/C/34. 1994. 5 Constitution Court of South Africa (1995), judgment declaring judicial whipping of juveniles unconstitutional. 6 CRC concluding statement (1994). 7 Gershoff, E.T. (2002) 8 Straus, Murray A. (2001), Beating the Devil out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Families And its Effects on Children, 2nd Edition. (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers). 9 Gunnoe, M.L. and Mariner, C.L. (1997), "Toward a developmental-contextual model of the effects of parental spanking on children's aggression." Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, vol.151, pp.768-775. 10 Brezina, T. (1999), "Teenage violence toward parents as an adaptation to family strain: Evidence from a national survey of male adolescents", Youth & Society, vol. 30, pp.416-444. 11 Straus, M. A. (1994), "Should the use of corporal punishment by parents be considered child abuse? Yes." In M. A. Mason & E. Gambrill (Eds.) Debating children's lives: Current controversies on children and adolescents, pp.197-203 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage). 12 Straus, Murray A. (2001). 13 Straus, M. A. (1994). 14 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 15 Ibid. 16 Gershoff, E.T. (2002). 17 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 18 Ibid. 19 Arias, I. and Pape, K. T. (1999), "Psychological Abuse: Implications for adjustment and commitment to leave violent partners," Violence and Victims, vol.14, pp.55-67. 20 Straus, Murray A. (2001). 21 Straus, Murray A. (2003), "Corporal Punishment and Academic Achievement Scores of Young Children: A Longitudinal Study." In Murray A Straus, The primordial violence: corporal punishment by parents, cognitive development, and crime, (Walnut creek CA: AltaMira Press). 22 Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (2003). 23 Ibid. 24 Gershoff, E.T. (2002). 25 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid. 28 Straus, Murray A. (2001). 29 Ibid. 30 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 31 Straus, Murray A. (2003). 32 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 33 Contributed by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment 34 VSO The Gambia (2003) Corporal Punishment Policy June 2003. 35 Ibid. 36 Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (2003). 37 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 38 Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (2005), Ending legalized violence against children Report for Caribbean Regional Consultation. 39 Committee on the Rights of the Child (2001), CRC/C/15/Add.165, paras. 32, 33. 40 Israel Supreme Court Judgment (2000).

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European Committee on Social Rights (2001), General Introduction, Conclusions XV1, Vol.1. Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment (2003). 43 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004). 44 Walsh, W. (2002), Spankers and nonspankers: Where they get their information on spanking. Family Relations, vol.51, pp.81-88. 45 Durrant, J.E., Ensom, R., and Coalition on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth (2004).

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