The Minister of Education, Jeffery Lloyd, made his 2019-2020 Budget presentation on Wednesday in the House of Assembly and he did a major segue to deal with the subject of Corporal Punishment in schools.
Like the learned gentleman, we do not intend, in the slightest, to bring light to any current court matter. We seek only to express satisfaction in the minister speaking to the issue generally. He approached the subject very delicately, more so than is his normal way of doing things. Minister Lloyd is a small physical person, who wields a huge verbal stick.
He was true to form in just one instance, as he tried to be particularly diplomatic for the most part.
“We are not going to be sucked into this conversation unless or until the society decides what it wants to deal with in terms of corporal punishment. You will not put anything on us while you half kill your child at home. We are going to have a conversation; we are going to bring our stakeholders; we are going to have a robust discussion about this particular subject since it seems, now, it should be revisited or is being called upon to be visited,” said Minister Lloyd in the House of Assembly.
Hopefully the message was received clearly by the nation, inclusive especially, of the parents and guardians.
We share the minister’s concern and we applaud his deliberate approach to the highly sensitive issue.
In this country, in many households, there are parents/guardians who use profanity often in the presence of children, and actually create hostile environments, of which physical beatings are commonplace. So, they send out daily, disturbed children into classrooms. Teachers have to deal with them.
This is the anti-social backdrop teachers have to work from. So, indeed, until society does come to grips with the responsibilities of all and sundry, with the parents/guardian at the forefront, fingers ought not be pointed at the educational system.
We therefore challenge parents/guardians to do their part at home. Act in a manner that re-establishes the kind of home culture that was once synonymous with Bahamian households, across the archipelago.
We support Minister Lloyd as he negotiates this issue of corporal punishments in schools.