GIVING teachers the power to wield the cane to cope with unruly students is a never-ending issue. There are many people who are against such a "barbaric and inhumane" approach in dealing with difficult students.
Counsellors, psychologists and therapists advocate positive ways to solving disciplinary problems in schools.
Somehow most of these peace-loving advocates do not understand or see the severity of indiscipline in some schools. No one is asking teachers to use the cane for minor disciplinary problems.
Even squabbles and skirmishes among students can be forgiven and let off with a warning. But teachers are dealing with far more dangerous and violent behaviour of some students today.
What do you do with students who are caught repeatedly smoking despite warnings and reprimands, those who bring pornography to class, those who bully others, those who hurt and injure other students, those who extort money, those who are gangsters, those who play truant regularly, those who have sex with their schoolmates, those who use vulgar and abusive language, those who steal and rob, those who damage teachers' cars and other school property and boys who harass and molest girls?
These are just some of the problems faced by some schools and it is for these hardcore students that teachers should be given the power to wield the cane.
The cane should also be used on students who have no respect for teachers. Some teachers dread to enter certain classes that are beyond their control.
Most of these disciplinary problems can be traced to bad parenting. However, schools do not have the time nor the resources to look into this aspect to tackle the problem. If parents could be fined or charged with student indiscipline, then maybe caning could be scrapped.
It would be good if those who are against caning could go to these schools and try out their positive ways to overcome disciplinary problems. It is not so easy to walk the talk when you are faced with it head on. Ask the teachers.
By Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban, Negri Sembilan
Source: New Straits Times Letters to the Editors Sunday, June 10, 2012