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A Child-Rights-Based Approach to Corporal Punishment of Children in Primary Schools in the Eastern Zone of the Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Gebreslassie Kiros Hailu, Gebru Gebrehiwot Gebrezgabiher, Dirar Kiros Tesfay


Corporal punishment is a very sensitive matter and an under-reported problem that threatens the development and survival of children in primary schools in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The study examined the measures taken by the local government and other relevant actors to change the attitudes of teachers and students about corporal punishment. Moreover, this study explored the major limitations of the interventions by the government and other relevant actors to curb corporal punishment as well as their responses to these interventions. A qualitative research methodology was employed to collect data from children and teachers at the selected schools and also from school leaders, parents and community representatives connected with these schools. It was found that school directors and teachers administered corporal punishment to students who had caused disturbances even though such action was officially banned according to the domestic laws of the country and other international and regional conventions. This implies that the prevention of corporal punishment of children in schools by relevant duty bearers and their responses to the problem are less effective mainly due to a lack of commitment and the existence of gaps in policies. Hence, mainstreaming the values and principles of the child-rights-based approach is essential to address the problem of corporal punishment in schools.

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