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…but insists on replacement measureAlthough the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) is not opposed to the removal of Corporal Punishment from the local school system, it is however insisting that a decision to ultimately halt the practice would require a “tried and proven” replacement.This disclosure was made by President of the Union, Mr Colin Bynoe, during an interview with this publication.According to him, “the GTU’s position is that we are not against removing it…but you’d better put in place measures to protect our teachers from the types of abuse children will want to mete out to them.”GTU President, Colin BynoeAlluding to the situation of violence in the school system,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, Bynoe revealed that efforts have been made to discuss this challenge not only at the level of the Ministry of Education but even with Head of State, President Donald Ramotar.“He (The President) had even said that he feels that the penalty for the offenders should be a bit more severe, even to the level of a jail sentence for a criminal offence,NFL Jerseys China,” Bynoe reflected.This measure is crucial, the GTU President said, since it is expected that if teachers abuse children they are severely punished.  Similarly, he noted, those who seek to abuse teachers should be severely punished.“Teachers are the ones who make all other professionals possible and if you can’t respect that individual, how much more can you learn without a teacher in the future?” questioned Bynoe.He underscored that while it is possible for persons to be exposed to information technology, without the input of qualified teachers to work with them,Wholesale NBA Jerseys, they will not be able to absorb the ‘nitty gritty’ of the available technology.Turning his attention back to the issue of Corporal Punishment, Bynoe lauded the move by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, to engage stakeholders at a national level. And according to him, the GTU was fortunate to participate in several of these fora which revealed that more than 90 per cent of the population are convinced that Corporal Punishment should remain in the school system.However, this does not change the fact that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) continues to call for the abolition of Corporal Punishment on an international scale.According to the CRC, Corporal Punishment is “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. Most involve hitting (“smacking”, “slapping”, “spanking”) children, with the hand or with an implement – whip, stick, belt,Wholesale Jerseys, shoe, wooden spoon, etc. But it can also involve, for example, kicking, shaking or throwing children, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion (for example, washing children’s mouths out with soap or forcing them to swallow hot spices). In the view of the Committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading. In addition,Jerseys From China, there are other non-physical forms of punishment which are also cruel and degrading and thus incompatible with the Convention. These include, for example, punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules the child.”Bynoe states however, “Guyana has got a particular culture, but we have got to be wary of how we adapt policies that other people are doing.” He observed though that “the Minister was smart enough to do what she did in terms of having national consultations, and she has gotten the data in order to know how to move forward and that is crucial.”Even as the issue of Corporal Punishment remains in suspension mode in the National Assembly, the Ministry of Education has remained steadfast in embracing the practice in the school system.  In fact, Minister Manickchand, at a recent press conference, said that “the Ministry’s policy on Corporal Punishment hasn’t changed…it is allowed in school.”She asserted that the use of Corporal Punishment in the school system is governed by regulated written policies that are in place.According to her, “we have specific cases when Corporal Punishment could be inflicted, specific instruments that can be used and who should administer those blows.”The issue of Corporal Punishment has over the past few years spurred much discussions and emotions, which was especially emphasised in 2009 when a Berbice teacher was accused of breaching the Ministry’s rules detailed in a document entitled ‘Maintenance of Order and Discipline in Schools/Alternative Forms of Punishment.’ The document categorically states, inter alia, that only a head-teacher can administer corporal punishment to students, or identify a senior teacher to so administer same in his or her presence.But according to the Minister, the Ministry is ready and willing to be guided by the decision of Parliament on the matter. She disclosed that although the National Assembly, at a Tripartite Level, is looking at Corporal Punishment, generally there is specific attention being paid to the issue as it relates to the school system.“This therefore means that all of the parliamentary parties are tasked with sitting around the table deciding what is best for Guyana as we go forward,” said Manickchand.Additionally, she said that comments and views of individual members of the public and/or organisations are encouraged to help chart the way forward.According to Chief Education Officer (CEO), Olato Sam, the input of teachers is very important to the process.“Teachers’ opinions, thoughts and ideas have been factored-in in many of our decisions, but specifically in this one they play a key role,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys,” he asserted, even as he alluded to his conviction that “…the compromise position we struck a number of years ago had to do with the wide array of feelings and opinions on this (Corporal Punishment).”“I think people need to appreciate that we can’t just look at this on one level, but my position has always been that this is a national issue, not just a school issue,” said Sam.He explained that since such decisions will have implications for how children will be treated in the general society, it is imperative that the attitude about corporal punishment take into consideration parents’ views and emotions as well.Sam disclosed that several consultations on the issue have in fact produced varied opinions, even as he emphasised the importance of collaboration not only with teachers and parents, but the Parliament as well as international partners.
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