Sunday, May 24, 2009

To cane or not to cane?

Guests: Dr. Goh Chee Leong, Vice President and Dean of Faculty of Behavioural Science, HELP University College
Hashim Adnan, President of the National Union of the Teaching Profession

I hope Shakespeare is not too upset about my cavalier use of his oft-quoted phrase. I'm in the ntv7 studio, updating this blog, as the tape of this episode is being rolled.

We spoke to school principals and disciplinary teachers in preparation for this episode. Most of them support caning.

A science teacher and disclipinary teacher told us that pain sensors is proof that human beings are meant to be able to learn from physical punishment. What a fantastic soundbite that would have made! Sadly, he didn't want to be on tape. You may not agree with his stand, but he's been able to show results. He's managed to turn his school around from being a school with a reputation for ill-disciplined students to one where the number of applications far exceeds the number of places. There's been an improvement in exam results and less discipline problems among students. And he's been voted "Most Popular Teacher" several times.

One headmaster said he's never caned a student because he never saw the need for it but also said he was 100 percent behind corporal punishment.

Most of the students we spoke to said being caned didn't bother them. I don't know if it's boys wanting to be macho and not telling the whole truth. But male colleages who remember being caned, also said more or less te same thing. They treat the whole thing as a bit of a lark.

It was more of a challenge finding someone who still felt mad about being caned.

UNICEF was very helpful in the making of this episode by giving us a lot of useful leads. I'm not sure I agree with their stand entirely that corporal punisment is a form of violence.

Anyway, here's a question for you. Do you think they'll ever come a day where it'd be illegal for you to smack your child? And would you welcome that?

1 comment:

  1. To ban of punishing a child is not really a good practice as the Chinese proverb says "Spare the rod and spoil the child". As a result, it is not an applicable medium in my point of view.