oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Learner discipline after corporal punishment in the township primary schools

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1684-498X



Learner discipline is an important aspect of schooling. Historically, teachers applied a number of measures to maintain discipline, including corporal punishment. In 1996 the use of corporal punishment in South African schools was banned. However, some parents and teachers believed that the banning of corporal punishment was directly responsible for poor discipline among learners in the township schools. The purpose of this article was to investigate this perception, as well as to investigate what teachers were doing to address disciplinary problems among learners. A questionnaire was developed, and distributed among 20 teachers from primary schools in the Matjhabeng Municipality (16 teachers responded). The data collected was quantitatively analysed. It was found that although cases of learner mischief were still experienced in the primary schools, the level of discipline has not increased disproportionately after the banning of corporal punishment; the majority of learners behaved fairly well. However, some teachers were found to use harsh measures of disciplining learners, including corporal punishment. The involvement of parents in learner discipline was not preferred by many teachers. To help teachers to effectively handle discipline, the Ministry of Education has to find ways of training teachers in democracy, stress management and conflict management.

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