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Punishment in Schools


Permalink 03:59:29 pm, by Melba
Categories: Education, Commentary

Punishment in Schools

I could not resist commenting on the very sensitive topic of punishment in schools. A lot of us Jamaicans grew up with it and it did us far more good than anything else. Now, I do not agree with outright abuse, for that teacher who broke that child’s arm was abusive and should be locked up. However in my days it was only the threat of a beating that could keep ‘the class’, especially the boys, in check.


I remember in primary school most of the teachers had a cane. Most of these canes were named, I distinctly remember Charlie in grade six. However if you had to be caned the reason was clearly laid out to you and no amount of pleading would save you. And that wasn’t all; most times you had to do lines as well. I must not disrupt the class, (or whatever the infraction was) filling couple pages well. And if you’re smart you keep it to yourself as the parents were in league with the teachers and telling Mom or Dad would only get you a second whipping.


I think the most common phase today regarding our children is, “Bouy is a different breed”. I’m sure you have all heard it being said. Why is that? They have the same compositions as all children through the ages. I think the only difference is that the level of fear for consequences to wrong doing is no longer there. Parents now put the children in ‘naughty corner’ or ‘time out’. What is that? Worst at school, you have a class of 35 students to teach and at the same time you have to be monitoring ‘naughty corner’. If I were a student I would be sure to go to ‘naughty corner’ whenever I want to get out of a subject.


Then there is the television. Have you sat and watched some of the cartoons and sitcoms now playing. The interaction between children and adult is very disrespectful in a lot of instances and the children are seen as cute. The children watching are lapping up all this ‘cuteness’ and doing there best to emulate it at home and at school.


The saying, ‘with power comes responsibility’ is very true. Our teacher’s job is to teach our children while they are in school. It is very difficult to teach without discipline however our teachers need to be extremely responsibly whenever punishment is necessary.  Most of us find our ‘few’ children a challenge while they are at home, so much more for a teacher with a class full for most of their waking hours. Personally I believe once they reach high school, then alternate means of punishment should be meted out, but before that, we should not spear the rod and spoil the child.


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