The ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell will engage the public through a national consultation process on the issue of corporal punishment.
This was stated by Minister of Education, Emmalin Pierre, while speaking to reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens in St. George’s.
The female government minister was responding to a question posed to her on Corporal Punishment as Grenada has signed onto the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which advocates the abolishment of Corporal Punishment from the law books, schools and in the homes.
She acknowledged that the pressure is now on government to eradicate it completely and indicated that public discussion on the proposed change needs to take place before government can take a decision on the matter.
“We’re governed by the Education Act of Grenada and within the Education Act of Grenada it speaks to Corporal Punishment, but it also specifically addresses how it should be administered”, she said.
“…I think that it is great that there is public discussion on this. Any such decision that government takes as in going forward, we would want that to be informed by public opinion.
Minister Pierre went on: “As you know any legislation taken to Parliament there is (a) period where it affords the public to contribute and so … we would want to hear from all of our stakeholders and of course our government is one that listened to the people and have taken on board a lot of recommendations for legislative changes.
“…I believe that we are quite prepared to hear the conclusion of the public debate and the public discussion – of course the church has its position, the schools will have its position, our NGOs would have their own position and as a government we anticipate a conclusion/recommendations from all of our stakeholders and we’re going to consider where we go from there considering that.
“…We have not set ourselves a timeline and we have not initiated the discussion – the discussion has been initiated by the NGO community and we are happy for that kind of discussion. We look forward to them making some representation to us as government as to how we proceed forward.