What is corporal punishment?
Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a punishment intended to cause physical pain on a person it can be canning or flogging in any way. Corporal punishment can be involved in many ways including striking the students either across the buttocks or on hand, spanking, smacking, kicking, shaking, burning, pinching etc. Using different sources like rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap etc. Corporal punishment is not only used in schools but also in homes, prisons. Corporal punishment could lead to different situations like bruises and cuts, broken bones, loosing teeth, internal injuries in most cases child are left disabled or even end up dead.
Corporal punishment in South African context
The South African education system had used corporal punishment to maintain discipline. Corporal punishment had vanished in middle class, formerly white schools but it’s an on-going thing in township schools. The history of whip, lash and sjambok is also the history of slavery, colonialism and apartheid. Corporal punishment was used during the apartheid era usually in classrooms, which whipping was the most common handed down by the legal system for young culprits. The apartheid education system was based on a violent, anti-democratic and authoritarian philosophy. Blacks were not considered to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens. Instead they educated to become servants receiving low wage in a capitalist system. Teachers were encouraged to use cane when dealing with children who misbehave or those who could step out of line and used for keeping the class in control. Beating children was taken for granted like violence in society. So, teachers and parents deeply believed that corporal punishment is the good option. The ending of corporal punishment in schools was one of the demands of the student’s organization that was introduces after the 1976 student uprising
The department of education admits that corporal punishment of one kind or another is still prevalent in many schools, especially in the rural areas. Yet the physical beating of students has been illegal in South African schools since 1996. This was three years before it was finally banned in all schools in Britain and was in line with a long-promoted principle of the governing ANC.
Being against Corporal Punishment in South African schools
I believe that corporal punishment is not a good thing to solve a problem or issue, because physical punishment may cause pain to once person which will be something one can never forget in life. The use of physical punishment may lead to that of people thinking that bullying in schools or society or even violence is a good thing because of the kinder punishment people get for wrong doings. There is a difference between punishment and discipline. Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior in a way of showing respect and responsibility whereas punishment is the application or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence. Punishment does not promote self-discipline. It only stops behavior for that moment. It is a form of abuse against children – psychologically, as well as physically. It also sends out the message that violence is socially acceptable, which is entirely the wrong message to be giving out. There is no evidence that schools who use it are any more disciplined or orderly than ones that don’t. If anything, the effects of it seem to be more negative than positive and serve to undermine the teacher-pupil relationship. Where it is used, there is evidence that it is not used in an even-handed way. For instance, statistically speaking, boys tend to be given the punishment more than girls, and African-Americans seem to be given the punishment more often than white school children for similar offenses.
Corporal punishment leads to serious physical abuse and it makes children believe that violence is an acceptable to solve issues. Corporal punishment does not teach children the reason, why their behaviour was wrong and if they don’t understand then no changes will take place. Children that experienced corporal punishment, grow up thinking that it’s not a bad thing to against someone that you love. This sort of punishment can affect children’s self-esteems by making the victim feel scared, sad, ashamed or feeling worthless. This kind of punishment also violates children’s rights and it causes psychological harm as it has numerous adverse psychological effects which include: depression, inhibition, rigidity as well as high levels of anxiety no one has the right to beat up anybody. Punishing learners by way of inflicting pain, conveys the wrong message that violence is an appropriate way to addressing problems. People who experience corporal punishment are more instilled with rage and hostility even into adulthood. corporal punishment is unnecessary as there are other means of education that are effective.
Corporal punishment in schools could also lead to: direct physical harm, negative impacts on mental and physical health, poor moral internalization and increased antisocial behavior, increased aggression in children, increased violent and criminal behavior in adults, damaged education, damaged family relationships, increased acceptance and use of other forms of violence. South African lives under the laws which ban corporal punishment which are namely:
The National Education Policy Act (1996) which states that no person should regulate corporal punishment to any physical abuse at any educational institution.
The South African Schools Act (1996) which states that no person should conduct corporal punishment at any school to any learner, any person who disobeys the rule is found to be guilty of an offence.
Section 12(1) of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to freedom and security, including the rights: to be free from all forms of violence, not to be tortured, treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way. Section 28(1)(d) protects every child from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation. Section 10 states that everyone has inherent human dignity and the right to its protection etc.
Strategies which could be used in classrooms besides corporal punishment
The focus must be on maintaining a safe and dignified schooling environment for learners. Reward charts, merit and demerit systems, taking away privileges, time-outs, detention – where learners can do school work – and picking up litter are viable options. Any other ways of discussion and engagement that allows learners to learn insight into their wrongful actions are encouraged. Another alternative to punishment and positive discipline is the use of rewards and privileges for good behavior in the classroom. A reward system can be put in place to encourage good behavior in students that are misbehaving, from helping other students to raising their hand instead of blurting out the answer. On the other hand, a system that uses privileges, such as being able to go to class without an adult, focuses on good behavior over a period and accumulating points toward a certain privilege. However, using rewards and privileges in the long term can lead to negative outcomes, like rewarding students just for participating. To avoid a reliance on a rewards system, positive discipline uses positive and negative consequences to help students learn.
The importance of school-community partnership.
I believe that the school as well as the communities are one unit and partnerships with all sectors of the community are vital in helping children reach their potential. When teachers as well as parents work together they can truly make a difference in the lives of students. Researchers show that the more the community is involved with the school more it is likely that their learners will score higher grades and likely to succeed. Learners who have parents which are involve they attend school regularly and they have better social skills and they also get their homework’s done because that’s one thing which makes educators use corporal punishment on learners. If the school works together with the community the learner will be more positive about school. It does not matter where you from and how much you earn, every parent’s involvement could make a difference in the lives of the young. The use of parents being joined in a group, most importantly building a relationship with your child’s teachers using emails, written notes or any other way you could reach to each other. Talking to your child about her/his day at school be give a child that motivation.
Strategies to build a healthy home-school partnership.
Strategies which could create a healthy home-school partnership is that of parents being involved in their school works getting to know their progress in schools. Parents could attend meetings to find out what are learners doing and what’s going to be done since its teachers’ duty to inform parents on what’s been done and what will be done so that parents always know and stay informed and involve. There could also be group chats maybe for parents who live far involving every parent and for those who work at some point so that a teacher could text to the group to inform parents if there are any changes and to remind parents if learners are given a homework. Teacher roles critical to the partnership process include the family-centered roles of support, education, and guidance. Teacher roles that focus on family involvement in school and classroom activities include those of nurturing, supporting, guiding, and decision-making. – Together, parents and teachers can foster their partnership through such behaviors as collaborating, planning, communicating and evaluating.