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Ministry does not condone corporal punishment: Gavoka

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education Viliame Gavoka has lashed out at the father charged with assault of his daughter, saying, these actions are not condoned by the ministry nor by the government.

The accused has been remanded in custody.

In a statement, the deputy prime minister said the Ministry of Education is deeply concerned at the disturbing video of young Tarusila receiving heavy lashes from her father, which went viral and has been widely circulated and shared on social media.

Gavoka said that: “It was an act of extreme cruelty from the very person that any child is supposed to find consolation, love, shelter and protection at a vulnerable age.”

“The Ministry of Education does not condone corporal punishment being inflicted on any child even outside the school vicinity, and it is ‘instinctive expectation’ that the safest haven for any child which is a place they call home should discipline children with love,” Gavoka said.

The Ministry of Education is reminding parents that ‘children are our blessings from God and at this age we should not expect perfection from them.

Gavoka said it is our role to counsel and explain to them parental expectations, but we should never give up on guiding and directing them in the right pathway in life.

He said there are other ways to discipline any child that misbehaves but refrain from using corporal punishment.

“Parents and guardians are urged to make use of the counselling hubs that are in the four Education Divisions and talk to confidants like teachers, counsellors and/or HOS to help you instil discipline.”

“Use other resources like your pastor, pundit and elders.”

Gavoka has also called on relatives, neighbours, and communities not to be by standers but be proactive and call the authorities and the police so we are speaking the same language that no person is supposed to inflict harm on any child by using corporal punishment.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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