In brief the law is very simple. It is illegal for any employee at a school, including teachers and directors, to apply any for of corporal punishment on any child. The ONLY punishments allowed by law are:
1. Verbal reprimand
2. Exclusion from Class
3. Exclusion from School.
it is NOT possible for
1. Schools to make agreements with students or parents.
2. Individual schools to opt out of the law.
3. To claim flexibility on the law – it is just as illegal to hit soft as it is to hit hard.
In other words the law if there to protect ALL children in ALL schools equally, and this applies to both government and private schools.
The Legal Regulations
Corporal punishment is unlawful in schools under the Ministry of Education Regulation on Student Punishment (2005) and the National Committee on Child Protection Regulation on Working Procedures of Child Protection Officers Involved in Promoting Behaviour of Students (2005), pursuant to article 65 of the Child Protection Act.
This was futher endorsed in January 2011 when the Minister of Education AND the Prime Minister stated clearly, in interview, that striking children for any reason was illegal and unacceptable and that teachers would be punished accordingly if caught.
Our job is to catch them……
Ministry of Education Rules also state:
“Any school employee who hits a child should be immediately dismissed and be subject to review of their professional licence”
Two Major Problems
1. The law involved is one of common assault. This means that ONLY the teacher who actually hits the child can be prosecuted. Many administrators and school directors encourage teachers to strike children (or turn a blind eye) knowing full well that if caught they themselves cannot be prosecuted.
2. SOME school directors still believe it is possible to make “agreements” with parents to permit corporal punishment. This is NOT correct – this option was REMOVED in 2005. The law is there to protect all chidlren equally and NO parent has the right to supercede the law,
What to do.
If you are a child who has been abused, or the parent of a child who has beenj abused, please see the relevant page for your options.