Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Rude kids leave teachers at wits' end

Published:Saturday | December 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM


In recent times, there has been a call for corporal punishment to be banned from school and homes. However, before we agree or disagree with the suggestions offered, let us take the issue in context, especially as it relates to corporal punishment in schools.

What alternative methods do you use when you have a class of 45 students, a school population of 2,100 students, with a dean of discipline and three guidance counsellors. That is the situation that faces a prominent high school in Clarendon.

Teachers are asked to make miracles. The intervention programmes put in place by the Ministry of Education are way inadequate to meet the needs and demands of school populations. Child abuse is wrong and should not be tolerated by anyone.

Corporal punishment has its purpose, once it is done in a way not to abuse the child. I also endorse alternative ways of disciplining children but the question is which one works best.

How do you actually discipline children at school with alternative methods when the child will be rude to both parents and teachers and make reference to their parents by their first name only?

The reality is that there is a breakdown of the family in society. Children are left to do what they want and parents are not held accountable for their children's behaviour. So children are lawless at home and take that behaviour wherever they go, but teachers are expected to solve the problems of parental and societal neglect.

The problem is not so much the method of punishment but more so that discipline is not maintained at home, while teachers should find creative ways to uphold it at school. What double standard!