I REFER to the letter “Caning is not the way” (The Star, July 5). I believe that teachers must be given the power and freedom to discipline unruly pupils.
Caning should be reintroduced for very bad behaviour; behaviour that would not be tolerated today, such as vandalising school property or assaulting teachers.
The cane is a good deterrent and, while it may be the last resort, everyone wants to see more discipline in our schools.
It’s not about making school life miserable but about showing children that sanctions will be enforced and that their actions will have consequences.
Nowadays teachers ignore cases of bullying because they know they cannot realistically do much to stop it. So in effect, bullying has gotten a lot meaner.
In 2008, The Times Educational Supplement (US) surveyed 6,162 teachers. Support for a return to corporal punishment was strongest among secondary school teachers, with 22% backing the idea compared with 16% in the primary schools.
In Thailand, a ban was introduced by the government following the serious injury of a student who was caned by his teacher.
However, the greatest opposition to the ban came from teachers as they were unhappy at their loss of power.
Of course this is not a matter of ‘power’, but the teachers felt that they had not been consulted over the ban and were worried about the effect it would have on students.
Teachers’ groups claimed that banning the cane would make students more aggressive.
Without the cane, they felt students would show no respect for teachers.
They felt that physical punishment was necessary to control unruly students, and this feeling was supported by many parents, too.
I find the most efficient way of deterring bad behaviour is embarrassment.
Sure, children need to learn to be independent and need to learn from their mistakes, but isn’t that what corporal punishment is for?
Corporal punishment is not abuse and will not lead to death. Abuse, however, will lead to death.
If you have crossed the line you will definitely know because there is a brief time limit to all corporal punishment, and there is really one instrument that can be used (which cannot kill), and is applied to a limited amount of areas.
If you use corporal punishment efficiently and effectively, it keeps the members of the school’s criminal fraternity out of the justice system later in life and gives them a chance to escape from their backgrounds and make something of their lives.
There will always be those who abuse the system, but that does not mean the system does not work.
Children need to learn of these consequences. The administration of corporal punishment will make them grow up to become responsible citizens.
JACK WONG KIN TUNG Ipoh Source: The STAR Home News Opinion Saturday July 7, 2012