PETALING JAYA: There were mixed views over the effectiveness of caning as a means to discipline children.
HELP University Faculty of Education and Languages dean Dr Frances Lee Moi Fah said teachers regularly had to handle students who lack discipline and interest in school.
“Using the cane seems to be the immediate solution for this problem,” she said.
“Students experience physical pain and the loss of face, and the fear of experiencing both these things again will prevent them from misbehaving.
“However, in the long-term when these students become adults, they may believe that they can use violence too,” she said.
Dr Lee, who specialises in early childhood education, encouraged teachers to treat students with respect and to get to the root of their misbehaviour.
“If teachers address and resolve this problem, then the misbehaviour will disappear.
“But with their workload of teaching, teachers often complain that they simply do not have the time,” she said.
A retired disciplinary teacher said the problem was in the way corporal punishment was meted out.
“Caning was a non-issue when I was growing up, and I think we all turned out for the better.
“You can’t cane students just because you’re angry with them. When I caned students, I would also explain to them why they were wrong.
“But how many teachers have time for this?” he said.
Another disciplinary teacher said that while she was not in favour of caning students, it was a “necessary option”.
“When you have to control such a large number of students, sometimes you have no choice.
“Some students do change (after being caned), but many do not,” said the teacher from Puchong.