Daryll Matthew corporal punishment will remain – Antigua

Daryll Matthew corporal punishment
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Daryll Matthew corporal punishment will remain – Antigua

Talks over banning corporal punishment at schools came to a “disappointing” end on Monday when Minister of Education, Daryll Matthew, announced that there was “nothing else to say” on the matter.

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After months of waiting to hear what changes might be made, Matthew told Observer that the “public by and large said they wanted it to remain” as it is.

 “The issue was well ventilated in public space. I made my opinion, my feelings, on it very, very, very clear. The society gave its feedback and made its opinion very, very, very clear.

“The laws and the policy are what they are and so, I don’t know that there is anything else to discuss at this point where corporal punishment is concerned,” he explained.

But his statements do not appear to be backed by any formal research conducted by the government. For example, no public consultation or referendum was held. Minister Matthew was asked yesterday for clarification on any research conducted; he did not respond to Observer’s query up to news time.

Last June, Cabinet announced plans to hold consultations in hopes of amending the Education Act 1973, saying they would speak with the teachers’ union, principals, parents and other interest groups to consider abolishing corporal punishment in all public and private schools.

The Cabinet said that it would bring an end to beatings, with schools likely to adopt “alternative forms of punishment, “after two young girls reported receiving beatings from their teachers that left them bruised and bleeding.

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Corporal punishment has always received mixed reactions from the public with some arguing that it should be abolished and replaced with more modern disciplinary solutions, while others believe it is necessary to keep children in line.  

This was evident in the responses to the news that consultations would no longer take place.

Corporal punishment will remain on the books – Education Minister  Antigua Observer


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