Back then, when I was a student, smacking was one effective tool to get the naughty ones back to normalcy. A smack or two on the cheeks was enough to get us into behaving like humans. This smacking attitude of my teachers continued until the end of high school. They are still alive and teaching. Now, positive disciplining practices, reinforcements, handling disciplinary issues in the school depending on the degree of offence looks normal but the offender gets away with the punishment, that too making no difference in the attitude of the offender.
Ask any teacher, disciplinary issues are like common cold. It’s always there. It’s the teachers who conduct meetings after meetings to punish the child appropriately. Too harsh-there will be hordes of individuals and agencies behind just to pin point saying, ‘You are freaking wrong’. If left with a mild punishment, our attitude is, ‘Ayee, Children are children’. Also if left unattended, ‘the school isn’t doing enough’ kind of things. We have become used to listening to the negative talks of non-teachers despite the hard work we put in for the sake of children in schools. Sometimes I wonder, ‘What made me choose this line of work?’. Other than workloads and negative criticisms, there is nothing much in the profession. I think the government realized this because they are now recruiting lesser and lesser teachers despite the shortage.
Corporal punishment is now a thing of the past. Smack a child and see what follows. Parents, communities, and even your own nest (MoE) will not back you up. Scorns and curses over the social media is another story. Now, let’s reverse this situation. What if a teacher is smacked? Who all will join the bandwagon in supporting the teacher? Are there rules and policies in place to protect the teacher? I have been teaching for the last nine years. Apart from teaching skills, civil service rules and curriculum stuffs, I haven’t heard of such policies. Everything that happens in the society is staged in the school. Urban nuisances, news making headlines, youngsters going awry, you name it. Children these days study less in the schools and learn more outside. And you may opine, teachers aren’t doing enough in schools? We are doing and in fact we are doing it more than enough. But are you doing enough to your child as parents, neighbors and members of the society. Do you regularly worry about your child’s performance in the school? Or do you always submit to your friends (other parents) opinion?
Your concern mostly would be to drop and pick your child form the school. Leave the rest to the teacher. Isn’t this what you do daily? Your child may lie to you about home works, schools and friends. Is that what you want? Help us to educate your child. We merely cannot. It must be a coordinated effort between you and us. Do you want your child to smack his/her teacher?
As we become educated, the attitude towards teaching profession is becoming less. Teachers smacking children, the consequences must be…authorities may come asking, did you sign the service document making it legal. Are you a civil servant? Have you not kept in mind the teacher’s code of conduct and ethics? Blah, blah, blah… And if a student smacks a teacher… it is for you own discretion and drawing your own conclusions. If truth is kept loitering around the chairs of bureaucracy and immediacy of parents office-politics, the lofty vision that we have kept for ourselves is too farfetched and fictitious.
Next time, it could be your child for the naming? Think again!