End Corporal Punishment (ECP) 2020 is a campaign launched by Stop Child Cruelty (SCC) in September 2018 to end corporal punishment in Sri Lankan schools.
In a context where the same message has become louder and more urgent, the organizers commenced the National Level Training Program entitled “Thahanam Wachanaya Danduwama”, which translates to “Ban the word Punishment”, in order to support teachers to become competent classroom managers by adopting alternative positive discipline methods.
400 student teachers from all around the country attended the event held at the Maharagama National College of Education (Vidyapita) on the 6th March 2019. A handbook on Positive Disciplinary Methods was issued to all participants.
Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka, Chairperson, Stop Child Cruelty commented on the importance of teacher training at the event, “It is a devastating fact found through our own research from the National Child Protection Authority in 2017 that over 80% of children experience at least one episode of physical punishment and about 52% students experience at least one episode of physical abuse within the confines of the school classroom within one school term.
The lack of public awareness about how the laws and regulations are not being correctly implemented in the country contributes to why we cannot move forward with banning corporal punishment in schools.
It is especially important that teachers need understanding on building teacher-student relationships, improving psycho-social wellbeing and positive discipline strategies in order to end physical and verbal punishment within schools in Sri Lanka.
We expect that, following this workshop, the teachers will be energized and empowered to use alternative methods which can be implemented instead of violence and establish better strategies which will move Sri Lanka towards being a healthier, zero-violence society.”
She further added, “Correcting student misbehaviours is an important yet controversial task entrusted to teachers.
This is because there is a global awakening to the undisputed detrimental impact of certain methods of correcting misbehaviours.
These methods are referred to as punishments and are broadly classified as corporal punishment and psychological aggression.
Other than escalating to physical abuse, corporal punishment has been associated with depression, hostility and lowered academic performance.
Psychological aggression has been associated with low self-esteem, self-doubt and a host of other negative consequences.
Whilst 134 countries have banned corporal punishment in schools, they do encourage teachers to use positive discipline instead.
It is imperative that we groom the children, the future of our country, with morals and values replicating respect and non-violence to become model citizens of the world.”