WHAT do we want the next and following generations to be – law abiding or lawless citizens? It is in this context that we must see the school indiscipline situation, for children’s behaviour in schools today will translate into their adult behaviour in the years ahead.
In “Discipline must start at home” (The Star, Feb 2), the writer acknowledges that school indiscipline is rampant, and he makes very pertinent observations about the numerous factors that lead to it.
Parents also are blamed for sending indisciplined children to schools, and as such there is nothing much that the teachers and schools can do to check their misbehaviour.
If parents have rescinded their duty to discipline children (not on purpose but out of ignorance on the ways of disciplining children, as parenting skills don’t come naturally), must schools make matters worse by abdicating their responsibility in maintaining rule and order in the schools?
When indiscipline reigns in schools, it only shows that the school authorities are no longer in control in those schools.
This is a ridiculous state of affairs – indisciplined children controlling the adults who should be controlling them!
This tolerance for indiscipline is the cause of widespread indiscipline. That the tolerance is forced upon the teachers and schools simply because they do not have the time to take measures to deal with the indiscipline is no excuse.
Schools are institutions for the teaching and training of children. Meaningful teaching/learning cannot take place in an environment where mayhem reigns.
Children need to be trained to be disciplined. Training is a practical matter, not an academic subject for exam purposes.
Schools are the place to carry out this training as teachers are trained to do so, unlike the parents. Schools used to do so very effectively in the 50s and 60s, but no longer now. A child’s education is incomplete without discipline training.
Children do not know what is right or wrong, what is good or bad. They just imitate what they see on TV and elsewhere. Who should know better what is acceptable child behaviour and what is not, if not the trained teachers and schools?
In today’s society, where parents do not have the benefit of living in extended family homes, they need to learn from the schools and build on what the teachers do in school to maintain rule and order.
In the 50s and 60s when teachers maintained discipline firmly parents used to appreciate it.
They would thank the teachers for disciplining their children. Today, they make police reports against teachers.
It is the schools that brought this situation upon themselves in eroding away the school culture of the 50s and 60s. Every teacher was then a discipline teacher.
Discipline is the foundation of school culture. With discipline comes excellence in other areas – academic, sports, etc.
People, including all children, can behave differently in different situations. This depends on the enforcement of the rules (written or unwritten), with consistency and on an ongoing basis, and not just during “campaigns”.
When Malaysians who don’t care two hoots for anti-litter laws cross the Causeway, they instantly behave differently. It is common knowledge that this sudden change in behaviour is due to the no-nonsense enforcement of anti-litter laws by our southern neighbour.
Similarly, indisciplined children are capable of changing their behaviour the moment they enter the school gates if school rules are strictly, consistently and daily enforced, though they may revert to their indisciplined selves outside school.
Consistent, daily, strict enforcement of law and order in the schools would in the long run influence their behaviour outside school, and definitely so if started on the first day of the children’s school life and continued through their secondary school years.
Schools must not be negligent in the area of training children to respect rule and order. If they do not learn to respect schools rules, will they grow up to respect the country’s laws?
RAVINDER SINGH, Batu Maung, Penang.
Source: The STAR Online Home News Opinion Monday, February 6, 2012