Lunch, Learn Program: Reducing Corporal Punishment

Like many developing countries, Tanzania has realized ugly scenes of violence against children. Children have described the rampant use of violence against them in their homes, in schools and in the wider community and sited it among the key barriers to their educational attainment. Although schools provide an environment in which children are able to interact and play, it is unfortunate that physical and psychological violence that is often inflicted on children happens within the school setting.

In a move to facilitate an end to violence against children in and around the school, ICS -SP Africa, in collaboration with education department and community development department established and strengthened child rights clubs in 18 schools in Tanzania. The child rights clubs have played a pivotal role in giving pupils/student a platform to learn, discuss and engage on issues concerning their rights and responsibilities, protections, reporting in and around the school, households and communities. The forums are effective in giving children an opportunity to realize their right to take part in addressing issues that affect them besides empowering them to make positive differences in their schools and communities.

The establishment of child rights clubs and the Lunch and Learn program in Tanzania has made significant milestones as evident in the narration by teacher Melesa; the head teacher at Shingida primary school.

“Based on the results of 2017 standard seven national examination, we have recorded a remarkable improvement in performance as compared to the last two years. The improvement in performance can be attributed to both pupils’ discipline and commitment among teachers but most importantly, we appreciate the contribution of child rights club. The club has been pivotal in helping create child rights awareness in school hence facilitating realization of good performance.”

The narration by the teacher is a clear justification of the importance of communication among students and between them and teachers. By initiating the child rights clubs and lunching the lunch and learn program, ICS-SP has made a significant contribution in enhancing schools’ performance in Tanzania.