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School CP - July 1986

Corpun file 21997


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 1 July 1986

Letters to the Editor

Arguments for public caning

'Don't let instinct blind parents to reality'


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THE announcement by our Education Minister that public caning may be reintroduced in schools has brought about various reactions both from parents and teachers.

I am a school prefect and I have seen my share of indiscipline of boys in a typical secondary school.

No offence meant, but I frankly feel that the opinions of parents who are against this form of punishment are really stories from their friends who talk about the gross humiliation suffered by the pupil, not to mention the physical injury inflicted by such a punishment.

Have they ever pondered for a moment the reason these pupils are so punished?

The mere fact that a younger human being had been "hurt" by an older person has caused these parents to overlook the fact that these pupils deserved punishment for misdeeds done.

Nevertheless, I do not blame these parents for adopting such an attitude.

Parents possess a natural loving instinct for their child and it is this love that blinds them to reality.

I for one am not a parent hence it would be unfair to accuse these parents of blind love.

On the other hand, I have been in school for the last 13 years and I have seen a lot involving the standard of discipline, perhaps more than these parents.

It is very true that our standard of discipline in schools has declined over the years, due to many factors.


A teacher must maintain a firm relationship with her or her pupils, emphasising who the senior person is.

And it is through this that when a pupil does step out of line, public caning comes in.


Of course, the introduction of public caning would on the other hand be a deterrent to the rest who have not yet crossed the apparent border that separates them from the foolhardy pupils who play truant, smoke, extort, steal, vandalise and last but not least those who involve themselves in secret societies and drugs.

You might say public caning is a form of deterrent like the nuclear weapons to the general school population to prevent them from undermining their own discipline.

To be fair to all parents, I agree that there could be a mis-use of public caning if powers were to be given to every teacher in the school.

Instead, only the Headmaster and the Discipline Masters should be vested with the authority to cane a student in public.

Naturally, this would follow only after careful investigation, deliberation and consideration given to the gravity of the offence.

I find public caning to be a very effective method to curb the decline of discipline in schools, particularly secondary schools.


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