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June 2015
African School CP   (by Doreen Matisso, Kenya)
Corporal punishment in schools has a long tradition and is still practised even today despite all african countries have banned it by special orders and laws. Where there is no accusation there will be no condamnation. It is also difficult to understand the wrong in a society where corporal punishment is quite common in domestic education as well as legalized by justice for certain crimes or offences. Authorities claim the right of practising CP, and belonging to these authorities are judges, policemen, soldiers, teachers and many more who are in charge of subordinates or inferiors.
CP in our schools is never executed secretly but always in front of the class or with all pupils of the school watching. There is no difference in age or gender. Perhaps teachers believe public beatings to be deterrent. A very early and rare video example is a video from Sierra Leone where pupils are whipped on a stage with all other pupils watching. I found this video #1 at We don't know about the reason of this punishment, but the presentation looks like a regular punishment resulting from a collection of offends, misbehaviour or lazyness which may have been compiled within a certain interval.
Today, as smartphones have found their way also into our countries and schools, there are some more secretly taken videoshots available. Video #2 is from my country and it shows a collective outside beating of a class. Perhaps they did not find a culprit and therefore this group punishment.
Pupils in video #2 seem to be from junior classes of a primary school. There is also another form of executing punishment where teachers order senior pupils to beat younger ones or even classmates. You will see some examples in video #3. The teacher is supervising a boy and a girl caning other pupils. He is just giving advice to beat harder or adjusting the position of the culprit and the girl really follows his orders. Somewhat funny (if the caning would not be so serious) is to watch how also the dust is beaten out of these torn trousers.
Video #4 documents a punishment in the classroom. The teacher delivers several cane stingers on the behinds of four boys with about a dozen of girls watching. Later it is also the girls' turn to be punished. They are caned on their hands. I estimate the age of these pupils about 12-14yrs.
Collective Punishment is very common if teachers are unable to find out single responsable wrongdoers. Instead of wasting time to make an investigation they punish all classmembers. For shure the true culprit will be among them and all others will regard it as a deterrent. This group punishment also reflects the inferior attitude of teachers on their subordinate pupils and is an abuse of their power over weak creatures. This is not only cruel but also sadistic. In the following videos #4 and #5 you will see examples of collective punishments. The pupils have to file up and each of them receives punishment before they are allowed to go to their place and sit down. This proves that nobody is spared and after the boys its the girls' turn too.
The last video #6 from Ghana shows the caning on hands of very young children. This is absolutely disgusting. Instead of encouraging the children to love school and their teachers, it creates an atmosphere of hatred and fear and this will never improve performance or conduct of pupils.
This makes us understand that so many african children are failing in school although their parents really had to work so hard to pay for their education hoping to provide them a better chance in the future.
Comment by oldtapir
That schoolgirls close to puberty may sometimes run out of conduct is demonstrated in the video #7 from Haiti. The girls do a very naughty dancing in public wearing their school uniforms. We do understand that in tropical countries like Haiti the temper may be more vivacious, but displaying their panties, shaking their booties and indicating something like copulation is very naughty and also a bad example for younger pupils watching. From the reports described above we don't know the reasons why punishments have been administered. But in a case like this many of us would certainly agree and understand if some authorities would take action as not to let them exceed limits. And, as common in those countries, this might also inflict corporal punishment as last measure to maintain conduct and behaviour.
Links to related reports:
 Corporal Punishment of Pupils in Togo
 La violence à l'école
 When Studies and Love interfere
 Schoolgirl punished to put Pressure on Parents
 More african Catfighting
(Sources of videos: Youtube, facebook)
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