I understand it may appear that I am someone out of Noah’s ark because in my school days both Primary and High teachers physically punished us and this was acceptable to our parents.
In Jamaica during the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties corporal punishment were used in schools, and it is a lawful act. However, in 2009 it was reported that the Ministry of Education had asked schools to stop using corporal punishment.
If you were flogged, or got licks, as it was known locally, then there was no way that you would report this to your parent because you would receive another flogging as they believed you deserved it for misbehaving in school.
According to a media report, a former head teacher was banned permanently from teaching for hitting a 5-year old child. Although my position on corporal punishment may differ from others, the UK in 1986 banned corporal punishment in state-run schools and some private that was part-funded by the government no teacher should break the law.
I understand that there is a clear difference between the Carribean the way in which corporal punishment is viewed ln Britain. Jamaican parents, especially mother, see corporal punishment in schools as a necessary tool to ensure that pupil toes the line, rightly or wrongly.
In my opinion, banning corporal punishment in the UK may have been because reports support that some schools were using this method of keeping children in line in a counterproductive way.
From a personal point of view, I believe teaching today’s pupil is a highly difficult thing to do especially because the teacher is doing so with their hands tied behind their backs. How do you find a common ground to teach children, instill discipline and ensure pupils are going to achieve their potential.
One only has to travel on the buses to understand how indiscipline today students are, but hitting a 5-year-old is unacceptable. There must have been other methods that could have been used to disciple the child.