The rise in discipline problems among students has been related to the lack
of respect students have for teachers. This disrespect appears to be linked
to the ban on caning by class teachers. Hence, there has been a call to put
the cane back in the teacher's hand to instill
Is it through the fear of caning that students will learn
discipline ? can the cane create a sense of respect for the teacher and the
school authority ?
Caning can be a powerful deterrent to misbehavior. Contrary to popular
belief, caning does not scar a child or youngster psychologically unless the
punishment meted out is unjust or too
severe. However, would teachers who are confronted by an onslaught of
disobedience, rudeness and disrespect still be able to act rationally ? The
number of cases in which teachers misused their power have caught much
attention. These are teachers who resort to caning as a way to control
students. No improvement in the student's behavior results in increased and
more severe punishment until the punishment can rightfully be termed child
abuse. it is often the teachers' mood that determines the severity of the
caning. Caning in other words has become a means to release the teachers'
frustration and anger. This is an abuse of power.
Teachers cannot expect to be respected by their students just because
they have been given the power to cane. Respect is not gained through the
power of the cane, but by a mutual understanding through a close
student-teacher relationship. If a teacher carries out his responsibility
well and fairly, and is able to show love and concern, he will be admired
and respected. When such a teacher canes a student, the student will realize
that is is because the teacher cares. Not only will he regret his
misbehavior, but he will respect the teacher.
The role of parents in training their children to be courteous and to
respect adults, must not be overlooked. How many parents these days respect
their children's teachers ? On top of that, many parents have become
overprotective. Under such circumstances, how then do we expect students to
respect their teachers ?
There is no doubt that caning is useful in changing behavior if it is
properly implemented. However, it should not be seen as panacea for
disrespect for teachers and indiscipline in schools. Misbehavior of students
is not solely caused by the fact that teachers are banned from using the
cane. Therefore empowering teachers to cane naughty children will not solve
the problems. Parents, teachers and those in authority should look at the
root the problems and work from there.