The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 107-122

First online:

Corporal Punishment in the Schools of Ghana: Does Inclusive Education Suffer?

  • Joseph S AgbenyegaAffiliated withUniversity of Ghana-Legon

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This paper reports on a study that compared the practice of corporal punishment in ten basic schools in the Greater Accra District in Ghana. Five of the ten schools were designated as inclusive project schools (IPS) and the other five as non-inclusive project schools (NIS). The primary purpose was to find out if the inclusive project schools were more effective in eradicating corporal punishment from their schools than were the non-project schools. One hundred teachers responded to a six-item questionnaire. A further 22 participants comprising ten teachers from the survey group, ten pupils and two directors of education were interviewed. Observation of the classroom practices, where these teachers work, substantiated the questionnaire and interview findings. The overall results indicated that corporal punishment still persists in both school sites at relatively the same scale. Three themes were found to underpin the administration of corporal punishment to students in these schools. (1) Punishment as an effective learning imperative (2) Punishment as a moral imperative (3) Punishment as religious imperative. The implications of these findings pertaining to inclusive education are discussed.