Ministry of education has warned against the use of school children in political demonstrations and administering corporal punishment in educational institutions.
This ministry has made the warning after two video clips showed young school children carrying placards with political connotations and a teacher purportedly from Mwitiya Primary School in Machinga whipping a learner mercilessly with a rod in a classroom
According to statements signed by secretary for education, Chikondano Musa, says ministry has learnt with deep shock the circulation of pictures in the social media showing young school children carrying placards with political connotations.
Musa says though the clip on corporal punishment is not from Malawi, research has shown that the malpractice leads to dropout of learners from school which is contrary to the Ministry’s strategic priority of increasing equitable access to primary education by all school age children.
Whilst the ministry recognizes that the Constitution allows citizens to hold demonstrations, it has advised parents, guardians, teachers, private school operators, activists and the public that school children must not be used in demonstrations during school hours as this is detrimental to their education.
Musa says such acts violate children’s right to education because they disturb teaching and learning process in schools and are not in the best interest of children.
The Ministry, has therefore, strongly advised activists or any stakeholder to immediately cease and desist from involving children in demonstrations during school time.
The Ministry will not hesitate to engage appropriate law enforcement agencies to ensure that children’s right to education is not violated.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has reminded all education stakeholders that corporal punishment is not allowed in schools, whether public or private.
According to Musa children are entitled to be protected from any treatment that is, or is likely to, be hazardous; interfere with their education or be harmful to their health, physical, mental, spiritual or social development.
The Ministry would, therefore, like to call upon all stakeholders in the education sector to ensure that corporal punishment is not in any way administered in Malawian educational institutions