Press Release:- The Saint Lucia National Students’ Council takes a stand to condemn violence in any form.
In some cases, this extends to corporal punishment in our educational institutions.
Given the recent cabinet conclusion outlining the suspension and eventual abolition of corporal punishment in schools, it is imperative that we take into consideration the welfare of students at learning institutions.
This method of disciplining has been practiced by educators for a number of years, many of
whom have gained popularity among students for the very practice. Notwithstanding this,
Article 50, of the Education Act of 1999 clearly outlines the conditions for administering
Corporal Punishment in schools.
“50. — (1) In the enforcement of discipline in public schools, assisted schools and private
educational institutions, degrading or injurious punishment shall not be administered.
(2) Corporal punishment may be administered where no other punishment is considered suitable
or effective, and only by the principal, deputy principal or any teacher appointed by the
principal for that purpose, in a manner which is in conformity with the guidelines issued in
writing by the Chief Education Officer.
(3) Whenever corporal punishment is administered an entry must be made in a punishment book which shall be kept in each school for such purpose indicating the nature and extent of the punishment and the reasons for administering it.”
According to students’ recounts, many cases of this punishment being administered are not
consistent with the guiding legislation.
This hints that over the years Corporal Punishment has moved from a well thought-through punitive measure to an impulsive way of punishing students who don’t adhere to the school rules.
The NSC sees reason for the Department of Education implementing this policy and we
anticipate the alternative measures that will come into play as of May 1st 2020.
The National Students’ Council believes that students can play a major role in shaping education policy and should be consulted in the months ahead regarding this subject.
We remain committed to being the voice of all students, ensuring that they benefit from environments conducive to effective learning.