We have often heard of the adage 'Spare the rod and spoil the child. 'Giving six
of the best' has been accepted as a way of instilling
discipline in schools. I do not agree.
Some so-called experts claim corporal punishment
is a good way to prevent students from breaking rules and committing offences,
especially repeat offenders. Seeing their schoolmates getting the cane will
deter others from smoking or any wrongdoing.
However, how physically punishing
a student can help correct undesirable behavior is beyond me. It will make
problematic students become more aggressive and violent. It merely reinforces
the notion that violence is the way to solve problems.
A few educationalists say that corporal punishment in schools is a form of
preparation for real life. Wrongdoing has to be punished. Students have to be
taught to be responsible for their actions. In my opinion, caning would only
affect the child's ego and self-confidence. Students who have problems learning
will withdraw into their shells and lose whatever little self-confidence they
have. They will live in an environment of fear. How often have we heard of
children pretending to be sick to avoid school? The humiliation and shame of
being caned, especially if in front of your friends will result in psychological
scars. They will become more resentful and delinquent.
A caning schedule is part of the school regulation - what warrants one stroke
of the cane, what offence gets two and so on.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee that caning can be imposed properly.
It can be abused. There has been little research done on the effectiveness of
corporal punishment in schools. A better alternative is counseling. Removal of
privileges is another way. School authorities and teachers have to be firm with
their dos and don'ts.
In conclusion, the American Academy of Paediatrics urges parents, educators,
school administrators, school board members, legislators, and others to seek the
legal prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and to encourage the use of
alternative methods of managing student behavior. I agree.