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Friday, August 2, 2013

To Cane Or Not To Cane?

The other day while I was walking Cass home from school, she told me that teacher A (her English teacher) told her class that she would cane whoever who did not know how to read a long list of English words in their Spelling book.  The moment we reached home, she quickly fished out the book from her school bag and showed me the list of English words, which consisted of these words : dancing, fine, thank you, knee, neck, very, much, grandfather, grandmother, grandparents, drawing and about 10 more words. She then made me go through the words with her.  See, I can even memorize these words as she made me go through these words with her umpteen times!  She refused to wash up or eat her fruits. She was glued to her books and wanted to complete her homework, as well as to master those words.

What made Cass so obedient and seem like an exemplary student was achieved through the hard and painful way.  The teachers in her pre-school would punish and cane kids who did not complete their homework, kids who could not read and kids who chit chat a lot when lessons are on-going.  Let me tell you that Cass had been punished too many times that I have lost count. Most times, she was called to stand up as a form of punishment for being too talkative and sometimes she would be canned on her hand for not completing her homework.

Some parents would freak out upon learning that their kids (whom they themselves do not cane) are being canned in school. They view such punishment as being too draconian on kids, what more pre-schoolers.

For me, I am not against this form of punishment for Cass.  I admit that she can be very stubborn and disobedient, even at home. My hubs, mil and I are having a hard time disciplining her.  I think she has been spoilt rotten since birth due to her medical condition which has since been rectified after a surgery when she was 13 months old.

However, for kids who are timid and sensitive (like Alycia), canning and punishment would backfire and cause a negative impact on the child's emotions.  Alycia dropped out of the school team in Calligraphy just because the teacher threatened the students that they need not have to attend lessons again if they did not write the Chinese characters nicely.  This happened when she was in Standard 1. She was in tears when I pressed her for the reasons on why she wanted to quit.

Do you agree or disagree to canning being carried out in schools to discipline students?
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