Saudi Arabia: Schools advised against corporal punishment

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Saudi Arabia’s state rights watchdog has urged schools against using corporal punishment or other penalties that could discourage children from going to school.

The warning comes days before the start of the new school year in Saudi Arabia with the seven first weeks to depend on distance-learning as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

“Each child has the right to education. Efforts should be made to prevent children’s early dropping out of school,” the Human Rights Commission (HRC) said.

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Schools and other educational institutions are required to draw up policies that protect children from any harmful practices, the HRC said.

“Children’s rights include a commitment from the parent or the guardian to enroll the child at school without causing disruption in schooling,” the influential commission added. Should the child fail to attend, the school has to inquire about absence and refer the matter to competent agencies if the need arises, it said.

Saudi Arabia may extend the duration of remote learning for schools if an effective vaccine against COVID-19 is not made available, according to the country’s Health Minister Tawfik Al Rbiah.

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