Ebonyi state ministry of Justice has identified corporal punishment in schools as the cause of increase in cultism in the society.
The ministry said students and pupils were being tortured in schools by teachers who give them such punishment which in turn makes them go into cultism.
The ministry disclosed this through its gender desk officer in charge of child abuse/trafficking, Barrister Ijeoma Mike Ajanwachuku, during EU-UN spotlight initiative engagement with secondary school teachers from Ezza South.
Ajanwachuku stated this during a 3 day programme on ending violence against children, VAC, women and girls,VAWG prevention, response service delivery and case management organized by National Orientation Agency at Osborn la-palm royal resort, Abakaliki.
She described corporal punishment as abuse of child’s right and advocated other ways of punishing a child in school and home.
She said, “there are many ways to discipline a child, you can ask him to write his surname one thousand times and all that, it is offense when you flog a child, imagine somebody said that because people are being flogged it made them more responsible and discipline, when he was young he got second position and the uncle flogged him 30 strokes, that he went out to play football instead of reading, 30 strokes, that made him what he is today.
“But we try to make them understand that it was not because of that flogging that made him what he is today, there are some, why we have cultists was because they started enjoying pain as part of the living so they join one secret cult or the other and go into initiations and all that.
“The program has gone along way to make them understand that this corporal punishment is part of violence against children.
“There is a provision made available in a child’s Righ law of Ebonyi state 2010, beating is an abuse, flogging and many others. An offender got to be punished that is if they accept it is a crime they can report, you can’t go into the school and start sentencing a teacher, it’s only when they report, but because it is our tradition, it is our culture it is not reported”.
Speaking on behalf of EU-UN spotlight initiative, the child protection specialist with United Children Fund, UNICEF, Victor Atuchukwu encouraged men to help see to the end of various types of violence against women and children, saying that men would benefit more when the women and children are happy.
“Men are the highest beneficiaries of this campaign, when our wives, girl friends, sister’s, aunty, the women around us are not happy no matter what we do we are not happy. Though as men we go out and drink when we come back we continue were we stopped the problem never goes away, but when they are happy every body is happy”.
On his part, the state Director of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Ebonyi state, Mr Desmond Onwe said, “this practice is no more invogue over there, it’s only happening here and somebody somewhere, not even an African is interested in making sure the menace is curbed and we Africans, we Ebonyians must contribute our own parts. The message must be passed to the grassroot from today.
One of the benefitiaries of the training,Vice principal of St Charles Unity Secondary school, Nsuokara, Ezza South, Mr Gilbert Nwukawu, noted that they were taken on about 14 different topics that will help end violence against women and children, and said “from what we learnt we have been told a laid down procedures on how to establish a case and follow it up to save a child whose right maybe violated. Though as a mission school we really record violence against children but if such happens we will follow it up”.