The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says 85 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of 1 and 14 experience violent discipline in schools, with nearly 1 in 3 children experiencing severe physical punishment.

UNICEF Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, at a two-day National Awareness Creation Meeting on Ending Corporal Punishment in schools, organised by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, in collaboration with UNICEF.

She described the discussion on ending corporal punishment in schools
as difficult and heart-breaking, stating however that the presence of
participants at the meeting was a testament to Nigeria’s determination to
uphold every child’s right to safety, well-being and quality, inclusive education.

According to her, the persistence of these practices contradicts Nigeria’s
National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools, which commits to zero-tolerance to any threat to the security of life and
property in schools.

She also noted that the practice is stalling Nigeria’s progress toward SDG 3 to ensure good health and well-being, SDG 4 on equitable and inclusive quality education and target 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.