Corpun file 5962

The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 16 July 2000

Delinquency

Punishment is effective, show research findings
By Simrit Kaur SET limits, don't be afraid to punish errant students -- these are some of the findings, in a nutshell, of several studies conducted on discipline-related issues in school. They indicate that students should be punished without fear or favour if indiscipline is to be kept in check. Parameters must be set on acceptable behaviour so that schoolchildren know what they can do and what they can't get away with. While schools used to be synonymous with discipline and obeying rules, the same cannot be said today. Press reports over the years have highlighted how sophisticated and frequent acts of delinquency have become. Vandalism, truancy, fighting, stealing, and arson are just some of the unacceptable behaviours being exhibited by Malaysian students, even at primary school level.

Firm in punishment
While schools in general are suffering from an image problem, thanks to serious crimes like the stabbing of a seven-year-old in an extortion bid by two school boys, a study by Abdullah Hassan on Discipline Violations in Two Secondary Schools in the Federal Territory (1999) showed that students and teachers viewed discipline violations as "under control and not that serious". Abdullah found that the successful formula in curbing indiscipline was by being firm in imposing punishment without fear or favour. Any transgressions committed should be reported without harbouring the guilty party. Auxiliary powers to discipline teachers should be expedited and provisions in the 1947 Juvenile Courts Act (1947) which had a section revised in 1972. The Act states that the court may order parents to execute a bond upon their child being found guilty, in effect making parents responsible for their child's actions. The two schools were selected for the study because they had a high incidence of truancy and student expulsion.

traffic jam. They included the processes and procedures within the school. found the teacher boring. and no interest in studies. didn't finish schoolwork. [. Nor did it practise sending students out of the class.Based on a survey sample of 220 students. It did not have a detention class either. the bus was late.providing them a good excuse to leave class. been given advice or had their guardian called to school..] Too comfortable for good According to another study. health problems. painted a worrying picture of what can happen when the school becomes too comfortable and accommodating to students' bad behaviour. Those who played truant cited these reasons: lazy to wake up.. playing truant and leaving school/class without permission. The school administration did not believe in corporal punishment. lazy. Wong's study showed poor attendance records. The three most common offences committed by students were coming to school late.5% each had been let off with a warning. and weren't interested in certain subjects. 12. 10% had their names noted down in the discipline book while 2. Wong's study. no bus. the quality of teaching and the curriculum. the school ethos plays an important role in moulding disciplined students. which was carried out in an all-boys secondary school in Negri Sembilan. Students who misbehaved were given a pep talk by the principal or told to pick up rubbish -. teachers practised favouritism. Of the remaining 30% that had been caught. did it deliberately. A school needs to have a clear code of behaviour and set of values to guide it. Students need structure in terms of a clear set of rules to follow and should be punished when they violate them. Wong Chong Peng's research on School Ecology and its Contribution Towards Student Indiscipline (1993) showed that a number of undesirable behaviours were predisposed by factors in the school environment. slept late. ranging from as high as 96% for Lower Six students and 64% Form Three. This is especially important as many children are being spoilt by overindulgent parents who don't lay down the law at home. found school boring.5% were caned. Abdullah found that 17. .5% of them were repeat offenders while 70% had violated rules but had never been caught. Among the reasons given by students for coming late included getting up late.

The Education Ministry is on the right track by releasing a study recently on gangsterism in day schools. however. Generally. "Students prefer a system of control where rewards and sanctions are well-defined and when action is taken when a tangible violation is committed. "Some doors were missing and almost all the classroom doors could not be locked or closed properly.One student had been absent for 90 out of 191 schooldays but teachers could also not strike out a student's name from the register from being absent. which gave the student no reason to change his behaviour." Students who conformed were disillusioned and lost faith in the system because deviant students got away with it. They also tended to be friendlier and less autocratic and authoritarian compared to the older and more experienced teachers." said Wong. Pre-merdeka teachers tended to be more firm with students and expected a certain mode of behaviour from them. The younger group. they do provide an insight of what is happening in schools. thus students faced a conflict in deciding what was appropriate and what inappropriate. "Because of this non-threatening and accommodating environment. "Broken desks and chairs took a long time to be replaced as the schools didn't have the funds because of its partially-aided status. were only intent on teaching and had a take it or leave it attitude to indiscipline such as students talking in the classroom or misbehaving. Although most of the studies quoted are small-scale ones and the results cannot be generalised. but a more wide-scale and in-depth study on discipline as a whole is needed before any measures are implemented. Wong also classified teachers in the school into post merdeka and pre merdeka. there was no reason for students to change or adjust their behaviour in school. ." There was also poor enforcement of rules and regulations. the researcher found the discipline level of the school to be unsatisfactory and the general upkeep of the school poor.

In those days. Parents then. There were some chronic repeat offenders and they usually got expelled from school. It could be five strokes on the right hand and five on the left. Before the punishment was carried out. The student would be asked to let down his pants before the caning was administered. For throwing a sweet wrapper.English (including reading and grammar). tried to minimise the pain with a few tricks of their own.both Roman Catholic and Anglican or Society for the Propagation of Faith (SPG) . I reckon. ." But the experienced principal was seldom fooled and the student would be told to remove that extra pants. Kuching. The trick often failed and the book would be moved. And those so punished would testify to this day that it was really painful when they had to sit down! Some students. It also served as a lesson to other students not to break school rules and regulations.. They even tried to hide the punishment from their parents. only three main subjects were taught in mission schools . it was common to see a teacher enter the classroom with a cane and textbooks under his arm. The impressions left on the buttock could sometimes be still visible three days later. a student could also be given the rattan. parents themselves were extremely strict with their children. By Gabriel Tan Caning . This act of trying to lessen the pain usually ended up with an extra stroke being given. who knew beforehand they would be shown the rattan. making vulgar signs. there were no protests from wealthy parents or those holding high office. it is may be useful to remember the old adage . Expulsion was a severe form of punishment. cheating. this question has been raised .spare the rod and spoil the child. So discipline in school and at home had done a world of good to almost everybody. Another form of caning in the classroom was done on an outstretched right-hand palm or both right and left.to cane or not to cane? While the debate on the issue is raging. For fighting or quarreling in school. Indeed. caning was still carried out. Many who had been caned would vouch that it was no joke and would feel embarrassed and humiliated by the punishment. And if they repeated the offence. In fact. stealing. When this form of student discipline was a sort of order of the day. the offenders would be given a serious talking-to by the school principal or headmaster. There were even cases of incorrigible students who went from school to school and finally dropped out. Even up to the 1950s. Most students punished did not commit further mischief. Caning was also given if a student failed to do his homework or fared badly in arithmetic or English grammar. arithmetic and geography.as a form of corrective punishment on naughty students . would usually be seen grimacing even before the cane touched his hand! The marks left by the rattan either on the buttock or the palm could be clearly seen. In the old days. During those days. the students paid more attention to the cane than the teacher as he marched in! The caning of students goes way back to the days when mission schools . 19 July 2000 The days of the cane Today. turning up late and telling a lie could all result in caning. usually on the buttock. especially during recess. a student.was once a great deterrent. This lecture alone usually had a lasting effect. the students themselves were terrified of having to go through the ordeal of caning . There were even cases of students trying to protect their buttock by placing an exercise book inside the back of their pants to act as a shield.were first established in Kuching. They would put on an extra pair of pants to "absorb the shock. those involved would be punished with six strokes of the rattan each.. were only too pleased to know that a good dose of discipline had been meted out to their naughty offspring.Sarawak Tribune. so punished. The whole school would know who had been caned. Uttering a foul word. the number of strokes could be increased. And the pain? Well.

com/mys00007. http://www. One was to make a student stand in a corner or on a bench. Another involved writing 100 or 150 lines of "I shall not lie again" or "I will not steal anymore.corpun. this question has been raised . Punishment in the classroom also took other forms. Caning was obviously well appreciated by parents then." This was a costly affair as a whole exercise book could be used up.Spare the rod and spoil the child.htm . And most parents were rather poor in the old days. it is may be useful to remember the old adage . Today.Many senior citizens could still recall the days of the cane and the teachers who did the caning. There were no known cases of parents marching up to the school to protest or even making threats. Time has changed. Some teachers who used the cane to exert their authority were given all sorts of nicknames by the students.to cane or not to cane? While the debate on this issue is raging.

" he told reporters after attending celebrations marking the first anniversary of the formation of Crime Prevention Clubs in schools in the Brickfields District in Kuala Lumpur.Corpun file 5941 The Star. The use of the cane would result in negative consequences such as the burning of schools by students angry over corporal punishment meted out to them. Kuala Lumpur. damage to school property and the burning of schools showed such actions represent students' retaliation against the school authorities. he said.com/mys00007. according to KL police chief Datuk Kamarudin Ali.corpun. Kamarudin said police were ready to help schools organise talks and anti-crime exhibitions as well as study tours to police stations." he said.htm . He said investigations were still in progress. 11 July 2000 Metro KL Police: Caning won't solve disciplinary problems RESORTING to caning in schools as suggested by many will not necessarily solve disciplinary problems among children. "One must weigh the consequences before resorting to the cane as it may have negative effects. school managements should opt for counselling -understanding the problems students face and trying to overcome them. http://www. In this modern age. On the fire at the teachers room of the SM Taman Tun Dr Ismail on June 24. he said. Kamarudin said five students who could be responsible for the incident had been identified. "Police investigations into cases of theft.

Such punishments should be administered in a thoughtful and not in an excessive or exploitative manner. The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires everyone. to water or weed a school garden. However there is little evidence that caning or beating are as effective as many people believe.Discipline Developing proper classroom discipline Some teachers and parents claim that corporal punishment makes it easier for teachers to manage their classrooms. US studies show a correlation between higher rates of corporal punishment and higher rate of violence. you must remember a simple message: the goal of our actions must. Children are holders of human rights. in article 19." according to the Namibian Ministry of Education and Culture. which can cause physical and psychological injury. You can require the student to bring his or her parents to school to talk about poor behaviour. to protect children from "all forms of physical and mental violence" while in the care of parents and others. they are less likely to throw trash on it. or to fix what they have broken: "Learners who build chairs are not apt to break them. The misbehaving child could sit on a chair or a mat at the back of the room and think about their mistake and of ways to improve their behaviour. "there is considerable data indicating that corporal punishment does not. Children learn respect by being respected. You can also discipline a child by assigning non-abusive physical tasks. Studies show that significantly more . If learners are reinforced for keeping their schoolyard neat and clean. or to apologize for the mistake in front of their classmates. According to experts in the field. You can ask the child to perform additional academic work. It inhibits positive child development and positive forms of discipline. in any consistent way. deter misbehaviour or encourage good behaviour on the part of children. Teachers should impose non-physical disciplinary measures as an alternative to beatings or canings. first of all. not be punitive or to enforce our sense of discipline. it must be to help children to learn self-discipline and the rules of our society and the expectations and values of the culture. Most experts agree that corporal punishment does nothing to fulfil the disciplinary goal of developing a child’s conscience so as to enable him or her to behave well…" Hitting children is also a dangerous practice. You can ask students to perform light chores. Teachers can require students to write a statement describing the negative effects of their behaviour. Every time you become upset by a student. Rather. Learners who wash walls are not apt to make them dirty on purpose.

UNICEF).org/teachers/protection/violence. and to obey the guidelines if the regulations are made explicit than if not. (2000) The issue of physical punishment and ending violence in our homes and communities. be honest and encouraging with children. Students are more likely to perceive the punishment as just. develop routines that reduce their need to nag. Furthermore. One reason is that an ability to learn self-discipline requires self-respect. Setting Rules and Expectations Disciplinary measures will be more effective if you make clear your expectations as a teacher at the beginning of the term. If the students know the rules in advance.htm . M. Self-respect comes when children feel loved and appreciated. http://www. Adults can think about how we can create childfriendly homes. student acceptance of the rules will increase if pupils participate in setting guidelines for the classroom. help schools develop new approaches to conflict resolution (source: Kaufman. and they will see themselves as having a stake in their enforcement. learn to communicate their feelings to children.unicef. The process of establishing guidelines will give them a greater understanding of the reasons for the regulations. to maintain their respect for the teacher.children who were physically punished engaged in both violent crime and property crime. then there are no surprises when the teacher penalizes those who break them.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful