Wed | Apr 8, 2020

Letter of the Day | What is the rod of correction for the education system?

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2019 | 12:22 AM

An open letter to the Ministry of Education:


In light of the recent publication in the media that many teachers continue to administer corporal punishments in schools, the Ministry of Education sent out memos to schools stating the policy position of the ministry, and also that teachers and others working in the education system who engage in such practice will be sanctioned.

The big question is: what is the rod of correction for the education system? It is no secret that many of our nation’s children are rude, lewd, crude and continue to place challenges within the education system.

It is no secret, also, that many students fight, curse and openly defy authority within the schools.

Many teachers and other stakeholders continue to use this scripture as a point of reference for administering corporal punishment – Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

I would love to explore the rod of correction for our educational institutions. I learnt from an early age that the schools, churches and prisons are agents of social development.

Within the school system corporal punishment is banned, suspension is seen as harsh treatment handed down to students, expulsion is a no-no, as each child has the right to education, and school discipline is heavily monitored. Students are much more opinionated and have less value and integrity.

It seems based on the ministry’s policy, there is little or no rod of correction for students, but all for teachers.


Teachers who are late with lesson plan, teachers who have challenges in control of class, and teachers who have difficulties with administration are beneficiaries of much harsher sanctions than corporal punishment.

Ministry of Education, what are the methods of not sparing the rod and spoiling the child in our schools? What are the consequences of the action for uncontrollable children within our schools?

When is it right for our schools to have control over the discipline of our students? Who teaches that for every action there is equal but opposite reaction?

Who will be sanctioned when students harm teachers and disrupt classes? What are the methods for addressing social and moral decay among students?

I am of the firm opinion that this issue of indiscipline within school should be explored with all stakeholders on board – parents, students, teachers and community interests – on the way forward rather than the ministry issuing threats and sanctions to teachers and school administrators.


Minister of Religion