Scare tactics in school
IAM a parent of two kids, who are currently studying in a Chinese-medium school. For the past two years (2009 and 2010), I have heard of many complaints regarding a particular Standard One teacher who beats her students until marks can be seen on various parts of the body.
Among some of the punishments that she meted out on her students were:
(1) Beating a student so hard until the wooden ruler is broken into two pieces.
(2) Hitting a student’s palm with the cane until the poor girl has difficulty holding a spoon.
(3) Slapping a student on the mouth.
(4) Beating a student with the cane until marks can be seen on the stomach, thighs and arms.
(5) Punishing a student by moving his table and seating him next to the blackboard, and the student had to copy all the homework and assignments from there.
(6) Throwing books on the floor and in the dustbin and asking the students to pick the books up themselves.
I want to know if the class teacher can punish the children using physical force.
As far as I know, beating or caning a student is only confined to the disciplinary teacher and not the class teacher.
Is there a law that protects children’s rights? And what are the actions that a parent can take if we, as parents realise that the teacher has gone overboard with the punishment?
The parents of the affected children have lodged a complaint with the school authorities, yet no action has been taken on this teacher.
I would appreciate it greatly if you can share some light on this matter. – Concernedparent We feel sad to note that our children are still severely punished in schools. This means, there are still many people out there who are hurting children in the name of discipline. They do not realise that the physical punishments will also leave emotional scars that will last a lifetime.
In Malaysia, we have the Child Act 2001 (Act 611) that forms part of the protective legal environment for children in the country. Children’s rights to protection from violence, abuse and exploitation are clearly stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The duty-bearers for children’s rights are parents, careproviders, teachers and anyone who are involved in children’s lives.
When children are harmed or at risk, parents and careproviders should promptly remove them from the dangers they are in. Sadly, many children are left in these situations without protection until it is too late. Parents must be vigilant in ensuring their children are safe in schools. If a report falls on deaf ears, then keep making the same report until someone in authority heeds and take action.
We must change our mindsets towards how children should be treated. There are positive and age-appropriate ways that work with children instead of resorting to using the cane or scare tactics.
We cannot use force to motivate children to behave themselves. When children have done wrong, they need to learn what is right from their teachers and parents. They need patience and understanding.
In order for our children to learn and grow in a violence-free school, parents and teachers must work hand-in-hand to choose non-punitive ways of dealing with children’s misbehaviour. Speak up for children in schools when their voice is not heard.
It has to be a concerted effort that all parties involved in children’s learning to make sure that they are acting responsibly to curb the difficulties faced in the classrooms. Get involved in your child’s parent-teacher association and work on using positive influences on the teachers who are using physical punishments in their classes.
There are many experienced and confident teachers in schools today who do not practise threatening children with the cane or verbally scold them. They motivate their students by offering them encouragement and compassion. Their students in turn respect them and duly behave well in class.
In Malaysia, we need greater community support in making our schools and homes safe and positive for our children. Unicef has a digital campaign that calls for a comprehensive study of child abuse. This is to help us to know the scope and seriousness of the issue in our community.
This study aims to set benchmarks for the measurement of child abuse. We want to change the public view from “caning to teach” to the way that is showing support and help for children to learn.
You can act and learn to protect children at www.unite againstabuse.my DEEPAVALI, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year are all just around the corner. Yes, we’re coming to the end of the year and that means annual bonuses, shopping and gift buying for many.
With that in mind, ParenThots has compiled some holiday gift ideas for those who will be shopping, not just for the upcoming festivities, but also for birthdays and other occasions.
To help us spend wisely and save as much as we can, the ParenThots Holiday Gift Guide (parenthots.com/ gifts) is limited to items priced at RM100 and below. If you’re buying gifts for couples who are pregnant, consider a gift voucher to one of the many maternity wear shops around.
What do you get for your friends or family members who are parents?
You could try buying something for the home – tealights, fancy candles, candle holders, photo frames, cushion covers, bags and even family DVDs.
Kids are the most fun to shop for. There are so many wonderful toys and books and lovely clothes to buy for them.
ParenThots offers many more tips and ideas for the yearend shopping.
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