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Why Are Kenyan Teachers Still Using Corporal Punishment Eight Years After a Ban on Corporal Punishment?

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2010 Pages: 248-258
Maureen Mweru
Date Published
July 2010
11 pages
This study sought to identify the reasons behind the use of corporal punishment by Kenyan teachers and teachers' awareness of existing laws on the use of violence on children.
The Kenyan government banned corporal punishment in Kenyan schools in 2001 and enacted the Children's Act (Government of Kenya, 2001) which entitles children to protection from all forms of abuse and violence. Kenya is also a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1990), which states that discipline involving violence is unacceptable. In spite of this, the use of corporal punishment continues in Kenyan schools. Data collected through focus group discussions showed that teachers were aware of existing laws prohibiting the use of corporal punishment in schools. Their reasons for using corporal punishment included the belief that it was the most effective way to discipline children and that parents had authorized its use. This study has shown that although the Kenyan government has introduced laws to protect children, teachers will readily break them if they believe it is for the children's good. This paper therefore recommends the involvement of the Kenyan government in training teachers on nonviolent ways of disciplining children. References (Published Abstracts)