‘Ban the word Punishment’: National level training on Positive Discipline Methods | Sunday Observer

‘Ban the word Punishment’: National level training on Positive Discipline Methods

Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka
Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka

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 organisers commenced a National Level Training Program themed 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.

Four hundred student teachers from all around the country attended a two-day workshop held at the National College of Education, Maharagama last week. The topics covered at the workshop included Laws and regulations, Ethics education, Child development, Effects of punishment, Myths, Social responsibility, Self-reflection, Zero tolerance on violence, Relationship between love and violence and Non-violence conflict resolution.

The resource persons were Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka, WHOs Dr. Nilmini Hemachandra, Sarvodaya’s Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Kelaniya University’s Prof. Anuruddhi Edirisinghe, Colombo University’s Dr. Chathuri Suraweera, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Asiri Hewamalage, University Grants Commission’s Prof. Hemantha Senanayake, Voices of Humans’ Kapila Rasnayaka and World Vision’s Kanishka Rathnayake. A Handbook on Positive Disciplinary Methods was given to all participants.

Chairperson, Stop Child Cruelty Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka said, “It is a devastating fact found through our own research from the National Child Protection Authority in 2017 that over 80 percent of children experience at least one episode of physical punishment and about 52 percent students experience at least one episode of physical abuse within the confines of the school classroom within one school term.”

But the problem still goes on unabated. Several victims have suffered grave physical harm and some have even been hospitalised. In February 2018 UNCRC issued a red alert to Sri Lanka for failing to ban Corporal Punishment.

Sri Lanka had promulgated laws and issued Education Ministry Circulars to prohibit corporal punishment in schools and has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The ECP 2020 Campaign is organised by Stop Child Cruelty together with the Presidential Secretariat and the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute and is supported by leading personalities as patrons, as well as an Alliance of Professionals. The website www.stopchildcruelty.com will give details of this landmark initiative. You can connect with SCC via active FB page Stop Child Cruelty or hotline 0779497265.