n International Journal of Educational Development - Children's views on, and experiences of, physical and verbal abuse in schools : two case studies of primary schools in Harare, Zimbabwe

Volume 2 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2312-3540



In Zimbabwe, changes to regulations on corporal punishment have led to claims by teachers, parents and others that the only effective weapon that was there to maintain discipline in schools has been removed. This study aimed at finding out views and experiences of primary school children on the use of corporal punishment and verbal assault as means of maintaining discipline in schools. It set out from the view that physical punishment and verbal assault by school authorities are forms of child abuse and a violation of children's rights. A case study approach was used in two primary schools, one from a low-income location (high-density residential area) and another from a high-income location (low-density residential area), both in Harare. The study established that in spite of the existence of legal instruments, children are physically and verbally abused in various ways. While children are aware of their rights, they, however, find it difficult to report and in some cases do not even know where and to whom to report to. The study makes a number of recommendations directed towards authorities both in and outside the school system responsible for the discipline of children.

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