The big corporal

2019-03-05 06:00

Ever since the altercation between the teacher and pupil from San Souci Girls’ High School went viral, there has been a raging emotive debate about the role of corporal punishment to bring about discipline in the class.

I have been a total opponent of corporal punishment based on my own personal experience as a child and as a counsellor for children who were victims of corporal punishment, in addition to my reading of the views of other professionals on the subject

In my first year at school l remember my teacher walked about with a light brown cane waving it about in a menacing way, about to whack us at anytime on our hands, heads or backs, without warning. This was back in the 1950s, when corporal punishment was the ultimate answer for discipline and was as popular as smoking was to make you relax.

I went to bed dreading going to school, fearing the stick. My mom, who knew no better, dragged me screaming to school and at school, the teacher came out with cane to beat me into submission. He took great delight in beating a little boy like a scene from a Dickens novel.

In standard one (Grade 3) l had a similar version of the teacher I had in sub A (Grade 1). This teacher unleashed all his vicarious tools to scare the hell out of us. The cane was his favourite, then his hands with the ruler to bang our knuckles and he took great pleasure in embarrassing his pupils calling them stupids and asked us if we had anything in our heads.I was driven with intense fear of him, so l started truanting but my family soon caught up with my truanting.Fortunately, l had a very empathetic family member who listened to me has l expressed my fear, stuttering as l choked with tears down my face. He put his arms around me and told me not to fear, because he was going to speak to my teacher.

I never slept that night fearing that my teacher was going to beat me for complaining to my brother.My greatest fear was to be marched to the principals office. How does a little child repress his tears when an adult is smacking him/her with all his might.

Fortunately, my brother’s intervention stopped the teacher’s aggressive attitude. He treated me very kindly and in that first week, l topped my class and never looked back.

In those days there were no psychologists nor was much written about the consequences of corporal punishment in a child’s development.The advocates of corporal punishment, teachers and parents, often justify corporal punishment with the line that they had got six of the best and they turned out good.

What is never mentioned is the number of children who were scarred and tormented by the excessive use of corporal punishment.One of the main arguments against corporal punishment is that it teaches pupils that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict.

Children, who grow up with that idea, end up becoming violent as adults in their marriages and in their work place.

Today’s youth come with a great deal of problems which include, violence at home, drug abuse at home, hunger, drugs, gang violence, sexual abuse, insecurity and learning disorders which are missed.

Today’s teacher has a much tougher time than the teachers of the past. Children with ADHD, depression, anxiety, fear of bullying and a lack in concentration can disrupt the teaching environment. I am not convinced that six of the best is the answer for these.

Parental discipline is a tough task when 60% of households do not have a father figure. The mother, being the only bread winner, leaves home at five in the morning and returns at seven at night. This mother has to cook, clean wash clothes and help her children to do their projects without any materials.

There are many children with a wide range of problems to make teaching very unattractive but on the other hand there are many effective tried and tested ways to cope with the problem without having to resort to the archaic corporal punishment method.

Some of them include meditation, conflict resolution, counselling, moral education and very importantly to teach children from a very early age about the dangers of drug addiction.

I tried in vain to introduce a module on drug addiction via the education department about eight years ago but the indifference of the director was a major dampener for me.

Perhaps, if there is school that is interested in learning about my module on drug addiction, l would be most willing to assist them.

Removing the cane from the class room for teachers who vehemently believe in the wonders of corporal punishment, is like pulling the dummy out of the crying baby.

It’s time to change their thinking.

I am what I am because of the wonderful teachers who taught me with love and compassion, without them l would have ended up a failure and a wreck. My favourite, was the teacher who made me laugh.

DR Ellapen Rapiti, Email

Ever since the altercation between the teacher and pupil from San Souci Girls’ High School went viral, there has been a raging emotive debate about the role of corporal punishment to bring about discipline in the class.

I have been a total opponent of corporal punishment based on my own personal experience as a child and as a counsellor for children who were victims of corporal punishment, in addition to my reading of the views of other professionals on the subject

In my first year at school l remember my teacher walked about with a light brown cane waving it about in a menacing way, about to whack us at anytime on our hands, heads or backs, without warning. This was back in the 1950s, when corporal punishment was the ultimate answer for discipline and was as popular as smoking was to make you relax.

I went to bed dreading going to school, fearing the stick. My mom, who knew no better, dragged me screaming to school and at school, the teacher came out with cane to beat me into submission. He took great delight in beating a little boy like a scene from a Dickens novel.

In standard one (Grade 3) l had a similar version of the teacher I had in sub A (Grade 1). This teacher unleashed all his vicarious tools to scare the hell out of us. The cane was his favourite, then his hands with the ruler to bang our knuckles and he took great pleasure in embarrassing his pupils calling them stupids and asked us if we had anything in our heads.I was driven with intense fear of him, so l started truanting but my family soon caught up with my truanting.Fortunately, l had a very empathetic family member who listened to me has l expressed my fear, stuttering as l choked with tears down my face. He put his arms around me and told me not to fear, because he was going to speak to my teacher.

I never slept that night fearing that my teacher was going to beat me for complaining to my brother.My greatest fear was to be marched to the principals office. How does a little child repress his tears when an adult is smacking him/her with all his might.

Fortunately, my brother’s intervention stopped the teacher’s aggressive attitude. He treated me very kindly and in that first week, l topped my class and never looked back.

In those days there were no psychologists nor was much written about the consequences of corporal punishment in a child’s development.The advocates of corporal punishment, teachers and parents, often justify corporal punishment with the line that they had got six of the best and they turned out good.

What is never mentioned is the number of children who were scarred and tormented by the excessive use of corporal punishment.One of the main arguments against corporal punishment is that it teaches pupils that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict.

Children, who grow up with that idea, end up becoming violent as adults in their marriages and in their work place.

Today’s youth come with a great deal of problems which include, violence at home, drug abuse at home, hunger, drugs, gang violence, sexual abuse, insecurity and learning disorders which are missed. Today’s teacher has a much tougher time than the teachers of the past. Children with ADHD, depression, anxiety, fear of bullying and a lack in concentration can disrupt the teaching environment. I am not convinced that six of the best is the answer for these.

Parental discipline is a tough task when 60% of households do not have a father figure. The mother, being the only bread winner, leaves home at five in the morning and returns at seven at night. This mother has to cook, clean wash clothes and help her children to do their projects without any materials.

There are many children with a wide range of problems to make teaching very unattractive but on the other hand there are many effective tried and tested ways to cope with the problem without having to resort to the archaic corporal punishment method.

Some of them include meditation, conflict resolution, counselling, moral education and very importantly to teach children from a very early age about the dangers of drug addiction.

I tried in vain to introduce a module on drug addiction via the education department about eight years ago but the indifference of the director was a major dampener for me.

Perhaps, if there is school that is interested in learning about my module on drug addiction, l would be most willing to assist them.

Removing the cane from the class room for teachers who vehemently believe in the wonders of corporal punishment, is like pulling the dummy out of the crying baby.

It’s time to change their thinking.

I am what I am because of the wonderful teachers who taught me with love and compassion, without them l would have ended up a failure and a wreck. My favourite, was the teacher who made me laugh.

DR Ellapen Rapiti, Email

Ever since the altercation between the teacher and pupil from San Souci Girls’ High School went viral, there has been a raging emotive debate about the role of corporal punishment to bring about discipline in the class.

I have been a total opponent of corporal punishment based on my own personal experience as a child and as a counsellor for children who were victims of corporal punishment, in addition to my reading of the views of other professionals on the subject

In my first year at school l remember my teacher walked about with a light brown cane waving it about in a menacing way, about to whack us at anytime on our hands, heads or backs, without warning. This was back in the 1950s, when corporal punishment was the ultimate answer for discipline and was as popular as smoking was to make you relax.

I went to bed dreading going to school, fearing the stick. My mom, who knew no better, dragged me screaming to school and at school, the teacher came out with cane to beat me into submission. He took great delight in beating a little boy like a scene from a Dickens novel.

In standard one (Grade 3) l had a similar version of the teacher I had in sub A (Grade 1). This teacher unleashed all his vicarious tools to scare the hell out of us. The cane was his favourite, then his hands with the ruler to bang our knuckles and he took great pleasure in embarrassing his pupils calling them stupids and asked us if we had anything in our heads.I was driven with intense fear of him, so l started truanting but my family soon caught up with my truanting.Fortunately, l had a very empathetic family member who listened to me has l expressed my fear, stuttering as l choked with tears down my face. He put his arms around me and told me not to fear, because he was going to speak to my teacher.

I never slept that night fearing that my teacher was going to beat me for complaining to my brother.My greatest fear was to be marched to the principals office. How does a little child repress his tears when an adult is smacking him/her with all his might.

Fortunately, my brother’s intervention stopped the teacher’s aggressive attitude. He treated me very kindly and in that first week, l topped my class and never looked back.

In those days there were no psychologists nor was much written about the consequences of corporal punishment in a child’s development.The advocates of corporal punishment, teachers and parents, often justify corporal punishment with the line that they had got six of the best and they turned out good.

What is never mentioned is the number of children who were scarred and tormented by the excessive use of corporal punishment.One of the main arguments against corporal punishment is that it teaches pupils that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict.

Children, who grow up with that idea, end up becoming violent as adults in their marriages and in their work place.

Today’s youth come with a great deal of problems which include, violence at home, drug abuse at home, hunger, drugs, gang violence, sexual abuse, insecurity and learning disorders which are missed.

Today’s teacher has a much tougher time than the teachers of the past. Children with ADHD, depression, anxiety, fear of bullying and a lack in concentration can disrupt the teaching environment. I am not convinced that six of the best is the answer for these.

Parental discipline is a tough task when 60% of households do not have a father figure. The mother, being the only bread winner, leaves home at five in the morning and returns at seven at night. This mother has to cook, clean wash clothes and help her children to do their projects without any materials.

There are many children with a wide range of problems to make teaching very unattractive but on the other hand there are many effective tried and tested ways to cope with the problem without having to resort to the archaic corporal punishment method.

Some of them include meditation, conflict resolution, counselling, moral education and very importantly to teach children from a very early age about the dangers of drug addiction.

I tried in vain to introduce a module on drug addiction via the education department about eight years ago but the indifference of the director was a major dampener for me.

Perhaps, if there is school that is interested in learning about my module on drug addiction, l would be most willing to assist them.

Removing the cane from the class room for teachers who vehemently believe in the wonders of corporal punishment, is like pulling the dummy out of the crying baby. It’s time to change their thinking.

I am what I am because of the wonderful teachers who taught me with love and compassion, without them l would have ended up a failure and a wreck. My favourite, was the teacher who made me laugh.

DR Ellapen Rapiti, Email
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