African News Service, November 2, 1998

Makerere Don Backs Corporal Punishment

Kampala - A Makerere University don has opposed critics of corporal punishment saying it is the only appropriate way to discipline pupils in an effort attain academic excellence.

Prof. Pilkington Ssengendo of the Faculty of Fine Art said caning should be maintained to enforce discipline among pupils. "I am worried when people say, stop corporal punishments, stop caning in schools.

A stick has to be applied if pupils are to attain academic excellence," he said. He said, "The western world failed to achieve good academic standards when they abandoned corporal punishment. They are now telling us to do the same to fail us in achieving quality education," he said. Ssengendo, was Saturday speaking at a party for three former headmasters of Makerere College School.

"Teachers have to make sure that the stick is directed exactly to the spot of the buttocks and not else where," Ssengendo said while demonstrating causing prolonged laughter. He commended the head-masters, Mr. Edward Kasolo Kimuli, Mr. Kiwanuka Kyazze and Mr. Joseph Ganatusanga for maintaining high academic standards at the School.

He described them as "strategists, developers, implementors, repairers and disciplinarians." Ssengendo thanked the school's headmistress, Mrs. Joy Male, for recognising the efforts of former headmasters. He said traditionally being a head-teacher is "a thankless job." Kimuli, currently head of the Institute of Special Education Kyambogo criticised teachers who he said dismiss students from school on grounds of poor academic performance.

"It is funny to see a student admitted on merit without disabilities dismissed over claims of academic failure," he said. He attributed students' failure to teachers whom he said fail to execute their professional ethics.

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