Monday 3 September 2007

Public Caning In Schools

I saw on tv a moment ago about how a government backbencher questioned the Deputy Minister of Education about the possibility of bringing back Public Caning in schools and the 'learned' Deputy Minister answered about having to consider various acts and conventions pertaining to minors. So clever, but wait a minute.

Reports about gangsterism, hooliganism and vandalism and utter shameful behaviour of our students have been hotly debated for many-many years now. Much have been said and many so-called studies have been made so don't tell me, it had not crossed the minds of anyone in the ministry to look into the acts and conventions mentioned by the Deputy Minister?

Why still give stupid answers like we have to seriously consider this and that to a question that is not new. If it is a new phenomenon I could buy it but this damn thing have been debated for far too long. Please me Deputy Minister, tell us something new.

Now back to the question asked by the MP. Should Public Caning be brought back to Malaysian schools? I was surprised, no, not disappointed, just surprised, by NUTP's reaction to this suggestion. They don't seem to be in favour of this call. Come to thing of it, I could understand them because this would invite hostile reactions from many parents who incidentally couldn't make out an angel from a devil.

Speaking as a teacher who has gone through the public caning days and comparing it to what we have now, I don't thing its a good thing to go back in time. Yes, public caning were a deterrent back then and that is because most parents could accept the fact that their children need disciplining. Things have changed much since then. Parents nowadays don't take too kindly to their children being punished in schools.

Anyway, I am not against caning, but I have my reservations with public canings. If the MP had called for teachers to be given greater powers to cane students, I would agree. I know not many parents would agree with me, but then again they are not teachers. We don't use the cane just because we like to cane. Its not like we get up one morning and eagerly dress up to school just to
go whack a few arses. Who wants to do that? We are not crazy people you know. We don't go beat up some karate referees for no reason you know.

One weakness in the system that contributes to the worsening of the students discipline is the appointments of headmasters/headmistresses and principals. A person is appointed the head of a school based on seniority and contact and merit plays no part in promotions whatsoever.

A person may be senior but lacks the quality needed. A person with contacts is worse. He or she only knows how to suck up, not lead. Go to schools with poor discipline record and the glaring thing that one sees is the quality, or the lack of it ,of the head.

Sweeping matters under the carpet is a very common thing because a head who admits to having a lot of problems is deemed to have admitted that he/she is unable to lead and thus would missed the next promotion boat.

Schools are reluctant to suspend and sack hardcore cases. Besides, weak heads being a reason, the inability of officers in the JPN to comprehend school's predicaments is also a reason. We sack someone today and the brat gets admission into another school not so far away and 99 percent of them are back to their pre-sacking ways in a month. Just pay a visit to any school and enquire how many students they presently have who were sacked from other schools and you would be surprised. To top this sometime these students got sent back to the school they were initially sacked from. Now that is not very helpful isn't it?

Back to caning, I am all for a more liberal use of the cane by a panel of teachers, not just any teacher. Why, do you ask? You would be surprise at how effective it could be. Look, we have tried all we could to get the students to respect us but it just doesn't work and anyway we have other work to do you know like teaching? Its not easy to try to act all noble and teach at the same time. Which comes first then?

Well, what is my last line here? Public caning 'NO' caning YES.


Hi&Lo said...

Public caning makes heroes out of rogues. One size does not fit all. Methods must be case by case basis.

Unknown said...

Exactly, case by case.

Bergen said...

I got caned in public once too many that I lost count. In the end I resented school and failed every subject they got coming for me. In the end I hated teachers. In the end I joined Siva and Yusof, two friends who taught me how to steal money from beggars and drunkard in the streets of Penang. In the end Aunt took me away from Aunt Su and Pakcik Syed in Penang to live with her in Dungun. In the end Siva and Yusof got shot by the police in Sungai Petani. I read it in the papers while on holiday at home frm a stint in the blazing desert of Arabia. In the end, I developed a phobia for cane because it killed my desire to learn. Amazing what a thin cane can do to extinguish the burning desire in my heart to be a learned person.

But I know a few fellas who could use a good whack in their behind to set them straight. It's not an easy issue. It's not like, yes or no. I won't know because I've always hated anything to do with school.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Whacking the kids in private room wld add to the chill factor. Just make sure a few burly-built and mean-looking male teachers r present, and the kid enter the room one by one. I say they’d shit their pants off.

Unknown said...

I used to get caned a lot when I was in std 4 for not doing my arithmetic homework. In fact I got whacked almost every damn school day because I just couldn't do my sums but no, no public caning.

For someone whose arse got whacked publicly a lot, I see that you have done well. No I don't imply it was because of the rod. Yeah, caning has its merits and demerits.

Unknown said...

That sure is scary but I wouldn't do it anyway. I do believe in the cane but it must be administered judiciously. Has the cane ever cracked your butt?

Anonymous said...

My kid got caned for for really trivial matters by their mentally unstable teacher. Why I said mentally unstable, one my my daughter 8 yrs old, forgotten to bring her textbook, got caned at the palm and resulted palm swollen and blue black mark appeared causing her pain and unable to write. I asked my kid if I should talk to the teacher concerned, but my daughter told me, no need, she deserved it coz of her mistake in forgetting to bring her textbook. The point is do the teacher need to incurr such injury to their students for trivial matters? This is hardly indiscipline, but small matters but caned was used in this case. What is the role of a teacher, to cane and instill fear or to educate?

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

rotan tu dah kira biasa cikgu. mostly for skipping classes. but serious offences such as skipping school all together and smoking, our parents will be summoned, which to me was the most effective way to serve as a deterrent.

but there was this one unconventional method that my ustaz used back then. kalau tak hafal surah yg di suruh, dia akan tarik our sideburn upwards. boleh tahan jugak la peduh dia..hahha

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

To cane or not to cane? Thats an easy question but difficult to answer.

First and foremost:what sort of 'crime'comitted should be caned in school.
Gang fight? Extortion in school? Molestation? Destroying school properties?Vandalism?

Or will it be: forgetting to bring a textbook? Didn't finish the homework( repeated offenders)? Noisy in class? Didn't wear a clean pair of socks or clean shoes?

IF, and if cane is to be brought back, the Ministry must clearly outline to their departments and schools and all PIBGs and if possible to all media or the criterias/categories which demands Public caning, private caning, detention class etc.

Otherwise there can or will be abuses by some overzealous school administrators or teachers.

Like hi&lo said:Public caning makes heroes out of rogues.They feel like a hero. famous!
What Bergen narrated is his own personal experience, and he had seen the result.He had known people whose fate ended fatally.

And we too knew not all victims of public caning became 'criminals'. Some became excellent in studies and life, for they wanted to prove despite the cane, they are worthful ppl. Some became successful and became another type of 'criminals'. White collared criminals.

Yes, its open to debate about caning. But one thing that is for sure: Discipline must be instilled in our children, for they had seen a lot of undisciplinary actions by those in power!

buayaputih said...

Hi Chegu,

(Sorry to fit in here for this unrelated message)

Thanks for your wish on my wedding. Pasai tulah cek busy naa..hehe

Anyway, keep on writing. GTG

Unknown said...

To cane for not doing homework, or forgetting to bring exercise book or text book is too much. To cane a female student is definitely wrong what more an 8 year old. There are blacksheeps everywhere. The case you mentioned is definitely a typical case of someone with misplaced priorities. You have the right to be angry. It would be good to see the head and discuss then maybe we can get a clearer picture.

Boys will be boys and you have just that you are a normal boy.

Memang susah nak decide kena pukul ka tak. Tapi kalau dibiarkan begitu saja memang menjemput bahaya but to me public caning is out, you either suspend or expel and hope the JPN jgan nak berlagak hero pulak

Anonymous said...

Salam KTN,
Rotan hanyalah satu cara untuk menghukum kesalahan yang dilakukan oleh murid2 di sekolah atau anak2 di rumah. Tetapi sekarang di kebanyakan rumah, rotan sudah tidak digunakan lagiuntuk menghukum anak2 jika melakukan kesalahan. Tetapi cara lain yang digunakan pakai (saikologi ke apa ke!) yang dipraktikkan oleh ibu bapa untuk mendisiplinkan anak2 mereka(juga berkesan). Kaedah ini sepatutnya juga diteruskan ke sekolah. Tetapi seperti juga kata hi@lo, tidak semua cara berkesan untuk semua. Perlu ada berbagai pendekatan untuk mendapat yang hasil yang terbaik. Itu agaknya tugas guru disiplin yang telah terlatih dibidang itu. Wallahua'lam.

Unknown said...

yes, one size doesn't fit all. Satu jenis hukuman mungkin tak sesuai untuk satu-satu jenis kesalahan atau pesalah tapi hukuman itu tetap satu daripada hukuman yang boleh diterima pakai. Let me tell you about Psychology. Berapa orang guru yang terlatih dalam psychology. Berapa kaunselor yang mahir dalam psychology. Banyak parents sekarang ini resort to psychology dan tengok lah betapa ketara peningkatan kes-kes jenayah, dan salah laku dikalangan remaja both disini dan diluar negara.

Hi&Lo said...


Sometimes, discipline cannot be handled with kid's glove. Thinking we are civilised, we have become too sympathetic with delinquents. Rules must be upheld firmly otherwise chaos will reign at the expense of law-abiding citizens.

Too much human rights may deteriorate society as in the west. It rationalises bad behaviour to the extent the culprit is not responsible.

To strike a balance between humane treatment and exercising authority is never easy. We tend to sway from one extreme to another.

Unknown said...

I fully agree, in our eagerness to embrace so-called civilised ways of dealing with children we forgot that it was those 'uncivilised' treatment that we got in the past that make us what we are now and I dare say, I like what I am now.


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