Corpun file 13471
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 1 June 2004
Girls are as bad as boys
I READ with interest Dr A. Soorian's letter (NST, May 28), who pleaded for girls to be exempted from corporal punishment. He gave an argument based on the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi regarding "violence begets violence" and that "passive actions beget passive reactions".
These are mere philosophies. Today, we have to balance between use of force and passive actions.
The world is so violent now and to sit back and act passively towards such events is foolhardy! The writer did not say clearly why he thinks girls should be spared the rod, but I assume he thinks that girls are the "fairer sex" and are gentle creatures to be treated like sweet and gentle roses. Today's girls are no longer like those of yesteryear. If you have been in a classroom you would understand what teachers go through with naughty girls! They are as bad as boys, if not worse. Teachers and school administrators of all-girls and co-ed schools have been at their wits' end trying to find a solution to such female horrors, and asking to cane them may not be too much.
© Copyright 2004 The New
Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.
Corpun file 14290
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 6 June 2004
Is caning the answer to indiscipline?
By Anita Anandarajah
THREE former principals - Puan Sri Hazimah Abdul Rahman,
Ramlah Hassan and Hamidah Shamsuddin - spoke their minds about
the controversial subject of caning students.
Hazimah and Hamidah answered with a resounding "yes"
but stressed that the "why" should be clearly spelt out
to the misbehaving student. "The reason for the punishment
must be made clear so that a student understands why he is being
punished," said Hazimah, a former headmistress of SM (P) Sri
Aman, Petaling Jaya and SM Raja Ali, Kuala Lumpur.
"In my opinion, caning should be carried out by all
teachers, and not just the discipline master. The person who is
teaching should take responsibility for the child's indiscipline.
The discipline master must keep a record of all punishments
carried out.," she said.
Hamidah, a former headmistress of SM Padang Tembak, KL said that
most teachers have reservations on the subject as they fear the
consequences - slashed car tires, threats from students, etc.
"The idea is not for the teacher to cane out of vengeance.
The teacher is not to bring her personal problems into the
classroom. Also, investigate the underlying reason for the
misbehaviour," said Hazimah.
Ramlah, who used to head SM La Salle in Petaling Jaya, advises
that teachers exercise caution in meting out punishment. "If
caning is necessary, there should be a clear process. The
school's disciplinary board must be consulted and parents must be
informed," she said.
"I dislike reactive measures. Caning is an unnecessary
reactive measure," added Ramlah. She said that teachers
should be self-motivated to take pro-active measures.
Citing an example, she recalled one of her former students, a top
national swimmer, had just returned from the Sukma Games with a
gold medal when his teacher sprang a surprise test on him. The
student swore at the teacher. "When he was brought before
me, I congratulated him on his success in sports but told him I
did not respect him for losing his temper with his teacher. And I
told the teacher that it was not fair to give him the test the
day he returned from a gruelling competition," she said.
Both parties apologised to each other. "If you are not
streetwise, you may take sides. Injustice will kill a
person," Ramlah added.
Corpun file 14288
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 7 June 2004
Caning should not be the answer
I READ with horror recent calls to empower teachers to cane
students, including girls.
I conducted a research in three secondary schools in the Klang
Valley recently and I was shocked at the manner in which caning
was carried out in all three schools.
I saw teachers carrying canes into the classrooms and caning
was meted out openly for such offences as not bringing books to
schools and not doing homework, in blatant disregard of the
strict guidelines provided by the Education Ministry (for
example, caning must be done in private only by the discipline
teacher and headmaster, with another teacher as witness; caning
can only be carried out for certain serious offences like truancy
and smoking; the offence and number of strokes must be recorded,
etc.). In one secondary school, a young woman teacher kept turning
around and grinning at me and the other teachers while she was
caning the students.
I believe the psychological damage done to these children is far
worse than the physical pain and this damage will surface in
later years, as violence begets violence. I urge the authorities
to disregard suggestions based on outbursts of emotion by hot-
tempered, frustrated, overworked, underpaid and ill-qualified
teachers and focus on improving the prison-like conditions in
Dr PETER JOSEPH PEREIRA