Opinion | Speak Your Mind

Focus: Corporal punishment

Hitting, slapping or smacking – in the modern-day discourse all forms of corporal punishment are generally frowned upon, whether by parents or by teachers. But is it necessary to re-introduce corporal punishment in the school to maintain a certain level of discipline which is required for a learning environment? Share your views on our Facebook page or write to us at readers@gulfnews.com

  • By Huda Tabrez, Community Web Editor
  • Published: 20:20 February 15, 2013
  • Gulf News

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16:14 Gulf News: Corporal punishment is necessary for keeping unruly children in check so that learning is possible for a majority of children.

16:19 Sairah Zakir: I don’t disagree with children being punished but I definitely disagree with the concept of corporal punishment. There are other ways to punish a child, physical violence is not needed. I feel a child only gets more stubborn through physical violence.

16:19 Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury: I partly agree with the statement but it may also have a negative impact. It can sometimes humiliate children, which can decrease the level of their confidence and that is harmful. However, corporal punishment is really necessary for children so that they have a disciplined routine.

16:23 Aisha Naseem: I am against the motion. Corporal punishment has become a regular practice. It is seen as a go-to solution instead of the last option. Disciplining a child and going too far with the idea is different.

16:24 Carey Kirk: Research also shows that while corporal punishment is associated with more immediate compliance in children, it does not promote the development of a child’s internal moral compass and understanding of right and wrong. We ultimately should be teaching and promoting children to learn how to make good decisions and manage their behaviour appropriately without the overseeing presence of an authority figure. Also, I think that we all have to be very clear about the meanings of the words punishment and discipline. Discipline comes from the word disciple — meaning to teach. Punishment is the act of adding a negative consequence or taking away something positive.

16:27 Gulf News: Discipline is necessary and more important than enjoyment in a classroom.

16:28 Aisha Naseem: Punishing a child to discipline is one thing. A rap on the knuckles, slapping or too much of negative feedback can ruin whatever you’re made of. I’m not sure if a lot of adults want to be to be told they’re worth nothing, let alone children. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ isn’t the medicine for every problem.

16:29 Sairah Zakir: The case is simple. Discipline has its own place and enjoyment has its own place in the life of a child. Yes, children have the right to enjoy to the fullest, but within the boundaries of being disciplined. But I would never say that discipline is more important for children. Yes, we could say that enjoyment should go hand-in-hand with the discipline.

16:30 Carey Kirk: If we are using the word discipline in the sense of corporal punishment, then I do not agree with this statement. Corporal punishment does not belong in a classroom. I do believe in maintaining firm boundaries, however. This can be done through coaching, education and through using reasonable and logical consequences. Firm boundaries are important as they enable children to experience their learning environment as safe.

16:35 Vishwa Patne: Children are meant to enjoy. They may not realise their mistakes and teachers or adults are there to lead them and tell them what is wrong or right. But punishing physically is not an answer.

16:38 Gulf News: It is an excuse for lazy educators to not engage trouble students.

16:43 Carey Kirk: I would agree with this statement only because I believe that corporal punishment is an excuse to not engage. I believe that it is very important to avoid labels such as lazy and instead look more at the root of the problem. Is the educator stressed? Under-skilled? Were they brought up in an environment where corporal punishment was modelled and accepted? Understanding the problem can lead to better solutions.

16:44 Sairah Zakir: My mother is a teacher. I get to hear stories of her students every day. At times she gets angry with a naughty child in her class, but she calls his or her parents and explains the situation instead of beating the child.

16:45 Vishwa Patne: Yes I agree, the educator should take calm steps and not include corporal punishment, as the punishment may make the situation worse than it is.

16:45 Aisha Naseem: Trouble students or not, we can’t just turn our attention away from them. If they feel everyone neglects them, it may be more hurtful than words or beatings. My mother is a teacher and it isn’t a flowery picture. Every child isn’t the same. Where there is misbehaviour, the parents are informed accordingly. If something is troubling the child, she takes steps to ensure the child is comfortable.

16:46 Gulf News: Corporal punishment causes long-term psychological damage in children, which far outweighs the benefits.

16:49 Sairah Zakir: Corporal punishment teaches children physical violence, and I’m sure none of us would like such behaviour in society. What could be the future of a child if he or she grows up seeing corporal punishment in school?

16:49 Aisha Naseem: I strongly support the motion. The pros are outweighed by the cons by a long measure. One cannot even begin to think about the far reaching consequences of little incidents early in life that grow into deeper feelings later in life.

16:49 Carey Kirk: I definitely agree with this statement. Corporal punishment does not work in the long run. When we use corporal punishment, children comply when parents or teachers are around, but do not learn to develop an internalised understanding of morals. By using corporal punishment, we actually deprive children by not teaching them some of the most important lessons in life. Corporal punishment has also been associated with a higher likelihood that those children may experience abusive relationships in the future or actually become abusers. It is also associated with poor parent-child and teacher-child relationships. If we don’t have a good relationship with a child, they are less likely to listen to us - regardless of how important our lessons are.

Fact Box

Yes 57%

No 43%

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