The government of Tanzania has banned caning of students in classrooms.
The directive was issued by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local governments Tixon Nzunda who was speaking during the launch of e-learning program in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Nzunda, who is responsible for education matters in the country, stated that corporal punishment was one of the reasons why some learners are not doing well in class.
According to Nzunda, some learners experience panic attacks when teachers carry canes to classrooms, directing that the trend must stop.
Corporal punishment is allowed under a 1979 law but with restrictions.
Tanzania Education Act 2002 review stipulates that a teacher should consider the age and health of a student before caning them.
The Act allows only beating of a student’s hands or buttocks with a light, flexible stick.
The text also specifies that a pupil may be punished only if he has committed a serious offence.
The punishment is supposed to be “reasonable”, stipulating against inflicting more than four blows on a student, and only school principals are authorised to do so.
Over the recent past, there have been concerns about whether corporal punishment should be banned in schools in Tanzania.
This is following a 2018 case where a 13-year-old boy died after he was beaten by his teacher who accused him of stealing another teacher’s wallet.
Humanitarian organizations and parents condemned the incident appealing the government to bring the practice to an end.