The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has said 85 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of 1 and 14 experience violent discipline in schools, with nearly 1 in 3 children experiencing severe physical punishment.
UNICEF Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, at a two-day National Awareness Creation Meeting on Ending Corporal Punishment in schools, organised by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, in collaboration with UNICEF.
Panday-Soobrayan said the discussion on ending corporal punishment in schools as “difficult and heart-breaking,” stating however that the presence of participants at the meeting was a testament to Nigeria’s determination to uphold every child’s right to safety, well-being and quality, inclusive education.
“Yesterday we confronted the harrowing reality that 85% of children between the
ages of 1 and 14 in Nigeria experience violent discipline, with nearly 1 in 3 children experiencing severe physical punishment. This is a staggering statistic colleague one that demands urgent action and is indicative of a crisis!
“Much of this violent discipline takes place in the form of corporal punishment in the very institutions that are entrusted to keep children safe, develop respect for human rights and prepare them for life in a society that promotes understanding peace, and conflict resolution through dialogue,” she said
According to her, the persistence of these practices contradicts Nigeria’s National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools, which commits to zero-tolerance to any threat to the security of life and property in schools.
Panday-Soobrayan also noted that the practice is “stalling Nigeria’s progress toward SDG 3 to ensure good health and well-being, SDG 4 on equitable and inclusive quality education and target 16.2 (to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children).”
While noting the impact of corporal punishment on children is devastating, she said children are left with both physical and psychological wounds.