By now, you may have heard about a 12 year old pupil of a secondary school in Awka, Anambra State, Miss Chidimma Ukachukwu, who died after she was allegedly flogged by her teacher for failing to do her homework. The girl fainted after being flogged severally by a female teacher and was subsequently rushed to a hospital where she died.
We have long passed the stone age. Teachers should have no right to flogging students! There are many ways to making students do their homework in a school system and if they don’t, there are equally many other ways of ensuring they do. If we delve into the reasons why Chidimma did not do her homework, it may include that;
– she forgot
– she wouldn’t attempt it because she didn’t understand what to do
– she had chores and was too tired to do it
– she dislikes the teacher and/or the subject
– she was just being silly (which is normal in children) or somewhat lazy.
There may be more but all of the above reasons cannot be verified as Chidimma lies dead. Even though the reason or reasons are six feet under the ground, no teacher should be allowed to flog a child! Is there any study that has linked reduction of exam failures, student pregnancy and crime to the use of ‘flogging’? Or an increase in knowledge emanating from ‘flogging’?
A culture of ‘strict’ upbringing and family values have little to do with flogging but with consistency of ‘home rules’ and from being good examples to children. Children are more vulnerable and will always act like children. I have consistently maintained that it doesn’t fall within the purview of a teacher primarily to ‘discipline’ a child. Our job is to teach. Disciplinary measures are and will forever remain the responsibility of parents. A student will pass through the school for a while, but will remain with their parent’s for life.
There are people who get easily overwhelmed with anger. Addictions happen easily if people are not checked by the law hence a law should be passed to prohibit flogging in all schools across Nigeria. A recent legislation has been passed in Lagos State by the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola that flogging, beating or physical torture of school students, and of workplace apprentices, has been outlawed and declared both illegal and criminally culpable throughout the state
I read that the father of the child said it was an act of God….(shocking). I can understand that he is probably trying to find solace but why do we always have to blame God for everything in Nigeria? Although it has been said that the teacher didn’t flog her rigorously but how do you know that the child did not come to school sick? That teacher must be made to go through the justice system to set an example.
I do not know where she got trained (if she was trained), but effective learning does not spring from the use of corporal punishments and floggings. We await all stakeholders in the Ministry of Education in Anambra state where this incident took place to declare the state’s law on this issue. I have many personal acquaintances who have horrific stories to tell about the effect of flogging on them. Our children can’t keep learning under such barbaric tutelage.