Samoa Cabinet Awaits Word From AG Before Bringing Back Corporal Punishment

Discipline seen as possible solution to fights in schools

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, July 6, 2017) – Cabinet is awaiting the Attorney General’s advice whether to bring back corporal punishment in schools or not.

The Minister for Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) Loau Keneti Sio said if the advice favours reviving corporal punishment, then there will be amendments to the Education Act.

In discussing the issue, Loau said Cabinet is treading cautiously on terms should it be returned, considering that Samoa has already signed the UN Convention on Human Rights.

He said the issue was raised during the fights between various schools.

Loau said discipline is alright at the primary level and the Cabinet is targeting the college level.

He said there are various areas Cabinet has to assess before reaching a decision such as the level of punishment to be applied.

He referred to a recent incident where a teacher slapped a church minister’s son because the son swore at another student.

“It was easy trying to solve that and the church minister went up to the Prime Minister,” said Loau.

In the end, Loau apologized, on the basis that if the matter reached court, MESC will lose another teacher adding to the problem of teacher shortage.

Consideration is also given to the protection of the teachers and their rights should corporal punishment be applied in schools again.

Copyright © 2017 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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