Teachers and parents/guardians have been using corporal punishment as a way to discipline children which is locally associated with religious and cultural beliefs and catalyzed by lack of knowledge in positive parenting. Corporal punishment has been reported as among the cause for children to drop out of school and increase in number of children living in the street in Tanzania. For years now, a number of cases have been reported showing increasing teachers’ and parents’ brutality in the name of corporal punishment in Tanzania; parents would burn their kids' hands and bit them severely and in schools; in 2017, a class four student that was severely bitten and injured that he couldn’t proceed with his studies, In 2018, a class five student was caned to death, in 2018 a class five student was bitten till his backbone broke and recently, a class three student was bitten by a machete on her head causing severe injuries - to mention a few.
About Bright Jamii Initiative (BJI) and existing initiatives:
Bright Jamii Initiative (BJI) is a Tanzanian local NGO, also an affiliate to Virtues Project International Association (VPIA) which deals with women and children economic and social rights; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tIqhV9CKM&t=15s. BJI has launched Virtues Project for Safe School (VP for SS) project to eliminate corporal punishment in schools within Tanzania. VP for SS Project train teachers, students and Parents to use the five strategies of virtues project, i.e. speaking the language of virtues, utilizing teachable moments, setting clear boundaries, honoring the spirit and the art of companionship; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzhSdFWM1io. The project also engages the local and national education regulation authorities and locally and legally established children protection committees which include religious and traditional leaders to support the program as an alternative to corporal punishment.
Proposed action for solution:
BJI aspires to engage Children Protection Committees (CPCs), Education Regulation Authorities (ERAs) and Religious and Cultural Leader (RCLs) to sensitize and mobilize them to support the introduction of virtues project in four government schools available in two districts of Dar es Salaam. BJI will also train the Heads of Schools, Teachers, Parents and Students, to adopt the virtues project as an alternative to corporal punishment, strengthen teachers-parents-students relations, restore strudents’ confidence and passion towards learning and make it as part of schools’ system for sustainability. The project will use the learning from the 15 years of experience in piloting Virtues Project in Tanzania and scale it up to four more government schools to develop exemplary schools where the ministry of education, local authorities and local and international NGOs can learn from and scale up as stipulated in the National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children (NPA-VAWC).
Long term impact:
Experience shows, Virtues Project lightens up the hearts of all the stakeholders in child protection and education system and awakens them to the new possibility of safe environment where children learn and grow without abuse. This project will contribute to strengthen relations and moral development among parents, teachers and students, improve students’ performance in their studies and create a safe environment for children to learn, grow and prosper. As the project receive more support and scaled up in other places in Tanzania, more and more children will have access to safe environment for education, growth and prosperity.
Funding support requested:
To be able to scale up virtues project, BJI needs to set up an office in Dar es Salaam and acquire the necessary equipment, we are seeking you support, below are funding options:
- $20 - will buy stapler and punching machines
- $50 - will buy a bookshelf
- $100 - will buy a reception desk
- $125 - will buy an office chair
- $150 - will buy an office file cabinet
- $175 - will buy an office table
- $200 - will internet wireless router
- $300 - will buy an office printer
- $500 - will pay one month office rent
- $450 - will buy one computer