CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Mar 1, CMC – The St. Lucia government says it is moving to abolish the use of corporal punishment in schools.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development said it has suspended and eventually abolish corporal punishment in schools in keeping with the many international conventions that the island is a signatory.
Chief Education Officer, Ruffina Charles, said that while the Education Act had no stated policy for the abolition of corporal punishment it did contain structures in the Act that stipulated how corporal punishment should be administered.
Charles said however that the department must ensure that the mandates stipulated in the conventions, which includes protection of children, are achieved.
The Ministry said that to aid in the implementation process, it has established a working committee charged with the responsibility of deciding the required initiatives and implementation dates towards the eventual abolition of corporal punishment.
The initiatives will include the sensitization of the general public and training for educators on island.
In 2007, the Ministry of Education established the Child Friendly Schools initiative with a pilot project implemented at two schools and has been adding two new schools every year.