Observations of teachers in Ilorin, Nigeria on their practices of corporal punishment that are potentially injurious to their pupils' eyes
Objective: To document the observations of elementary school teachers (ESTs) in Ilorin, Nigeria on their practice of some types of corporal punishment (CP) that could result in eye injuries among their pupils. Materials and Methods: A short battery of questions that explored ESTs' observations on attitudes to, and knowledge of some commonly used CP practices was self-administered on 172 consenting teachers from six sampled schools. The potentials for their pupils to sustain eye injuries while receiving such CP practices were inferred from the usage of items with sharp and protruding ends to administer CP, and the application of CP onto pupils' body parts that are in close proximity to the eye such as the head and face. Results: Only 50 of the 172 ESTs favored the practice of CP of pupils by their teachers. Analyses of several potentially moderating variables on this response such as ESTs' ages, years of EST teaching experience, school, and class or grade that EST teaches did not prove significant. Over three-quarters of ESTs (80.2%) had ever observed that pupils were being disciplined by ESTs with a cane. About a fifth of them had also observed that ESTs applied CP to the head (19.8%) and the face (16.3%) of pupils. Conclusion: Findings suggest that ESTs' commonly employed CP practices have significant injurious potential to their pupils' eyes. It is recommended that CP be abolished in elementary schools, and instead alternative nonabusive methods of disciplining erring pupils by teachers be introduced.