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LEARNER DISCIPLINE AFTER CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN TOWNSHIP PRIMARY SCHOOLS

M. Motseke

Central University of Technology, Welkom Campus (SOUTH AFRICA)
Teachers apply some measures to maintain discipline. These measures included manual labour, denial of privileges, and pinching; and in extreme cases, suspension and expulsion. Corporal punishment was also applied, and viewed as the most effective measure of discipline among township teachers. In 1996 the use of corporal punishment in South African schools was banned. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of discipline and the measures township teachers applied to address disciplinary problems among learners – after the banning of corporal punishment. 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 ill-discipline was still experienced in the township primary schools. However, the level of ill-discipline has not increased disproportionately after the banning of corporal punishment. Despite this, some teachers were found to use harsh measures of disciplining learners, including corporal punishment. To help teachers to effectively handle discipline, the Ministry of Education is to train teachers in democracy, stress management and conflict management.