St Jude’s graduate Tumaini is taking a stand against physical discipline while volunteering at his local government school.
Through his Mentoring and Networking Program at Baraa Secondary School, Tumaini is encouraging teachers to lose the canes and adopt non-violent forms of discipline.
“Teachers take those students that they have a negative perception of and the main punishment that they give them is caning. Physical punishment is not a good punishment,” Tumaini said, explaining that he has refused to punish in such a way and is trying to sway colleagues to opt for more encouraging solutions.
“I told them that when you want to change (the students’) mentality you have to deal with them psychologically and not physically. Since strokes are given on hands, some students fail to even hold a pen and write, and some of them start avoiding classes.”
The idea came to the Beyond St Jude’s community service student and fellow program founding teacher Peter as they agreed that physical punishment such as caning, which is still common practice in Tanzanian public schools, is no way to encourage students.
In the second half of his community service year, Tumaini is proving himself to be a community-focused leader with strong skills and values.
He said he knows non-violent punishment works, as he has seen it for himself at St Jude’s, where physical punishment has never existed.
“St Jude’s is an example to be followed as far as educating a child goes. If I had remained in my former school before St Jude’s, I would have been failing like these students because I started out as a failure but got better and better and started excelling when I got to St Jude’s,” he explained.
“This is a lesson to me that a student isn’t the one to blame; instead, he/she should be given a chance to be listened and understand his troubles as they could be the reason for his failure.”
Proof in his theory is already showing… Tumaini said the most rewarding and enjoyable part of his internship proves it.
“The positive interactions with students, and the bond created between me and the students, has caused even the chronic absentees to start attending my lessons.”
Graduates like Tumaini are reaching more than 10,000 students at local government schools. Support them by donating to the Beyond St Jude’s fund.