People in Matabeleland want corporal punishment to be included in the proposed Education Bill, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education has revealed.
The Education Act [Chapter 25:04] is being amended and the Education Amendment Bill [H.B. 1, 2019] went through the 2nd reading in the Nation Assembly yesterday.
Addressing the National Assembly, Tuesday, Committee member MP Marian Chombo said people in Matabeleland would be disappointed if corporal punishment is not included in the bill.
“Generally, in so far as the people of Matabeleland are concerned, we are going to pass the Bill and remove corporal punishment as per the Constitution, but they are going to be extremely disappointed if we should exclude corporal punishment from the Bill,” she said.
She highlighted parents were concerned with the deteriorating behaviour among children if corporal punishment is to be banned.
“On the issue of corporal punishment, they said, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.
“They gave us examples in the Unites States where corporal punishment was abolished and right now they are clamouring to get back corporal punishment into the system”.
She said church organisations were also against removing corporal punishment.
Chombo said people were also concerned with the issue of Shona speaking teachers deployed in Matabeleland.
“They were very bitter about having the Shona speaking teachers especially in ECD classes,” she said.
“They were complaining that they have local universities and they have trained Matabeleland students but when it comes to deployment, they said they were deployed with Shona speaking teachers and how do you expect a Shona speaking teacher to be able to teach an ECD child?”
Chombo said they also were not tolerant of pregnant girls attending classes as they would be a bad example to other pupils.
“We went to Insiza, on the issue of pregnant children, a woman came and demonstrated, and she said you parliamentarians, you expect a pregnant child to be sitting next to somebody who is not pregnant. What if she starts throwing up?
“They saw it as a way of even encouraging other pupils to get pregnant, so it was disheartening that it was coming from women. They were saying they do not support girls to continue school when they get pregnant”.
The Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga-led committee held public hearings on the Bill last month.