Art competition to explore alternatives to corporal punishment
Stabroek News
March 30, 2004

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The National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) yesterday launched a national art competition to give children an opportunity to express their views on corporal punishment.

The Government Informa-tion Agency (GINA), in a press release, reported that the competition was launched by the NCRC in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Education under the theme: 'Discipline without Beating'.

NCRC Chairperson, First Lady Varshnie Jagdeo, noted in her address during the launching at Umana Yana, that Guyana had pledged the state's responsibility to protect the child when it affixed its signature to the Conven-tion on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

"Hitting children is not an effective means of correcting [them]. Whipping hurts them physically, mentally and emotionally," GINA quoted the First Lady as saying.

Labour Minister Dr Dale Bisnauth underscored the importance of the family's role in ensuring the "proper upbringing" of child/children in the family.

Deputy Chief Education Officer Romeo McAdam expressed concern about the downward trend of discipline in the society and noted the existence of a manual suggesting that beating become a last resort in disciplining the student.

It stated too that in the instances where corporal punishment is being administered, a head teacher should carry out the act very minimally.

McAdam expressed disappointment in the attitudes of some parents and emphasised the necessity for a strong working relationship between parents, teachers and students.

Prizes for the competition, for which the closing date for entries is May 31, will be awarded nationally and regionally.