Impact of Corporal Punishment

Vintage, Limericks, Edward Lear
Although current policy regarding violence in schools states that corporal punishment is banned, we find that it is being widely practiced in schools as a common tool for discipline with hardly parents’ ability to report or stop it. Reporting is usually for extreme cases reported about serious injuries or even death of children that are published to the public like the death of a child in one of Punjab schools as a result of a teacher’s beating. There’s very little record on child abuse or child death resulting from violence.
Possible reasons for expanding the use of corporal punishment in schools despite its legal ban may be administrative acceptance represented by the school and social acceptance represented by parents. This occurrence is stirred by administrative approval represented by the faculty through not implementing the policy effectively; lack of communication with family; inability to find alternative way of discipline to teachers; and marginalizing the role of social workers. Social acceptance is exemplified by parents’ acceptance; lack of awareness; applying CP on their children at home; and refrain from reporting actively their kids’ exposure to assault believing that the school will not take deterrent action.
This study demonstrates that CP is widespread in schools especially in public schools. This failure of implementation was mainly attributed to administrative and societal acceptance. We’ll consider in this chapter how to reduce the gap by handling factors involved. We introduced earlier what strategies have been adopted in other countries to enforce the ban of corporal punishment. In this section, we will develop a professional approach to correcting student behavior which is most suitable for the Egyptian context for a strategy for combating corporal punishment in schools, as well as specifying alternatives to corporal punishment.
Generally, policy enforcement cannot be the responsibility of one single party. Rather, all organizations and entities involved in policy making and policy implementation must collaborate to successfully reduce and then eliminate corporal punishment from schools to achieve the best interest for the child. Traditionally, the Ministry of Education represents the policy makers in terms of education legislation and policy formulation; however, empirical experience indicates a vital need for other entities and organizations concerned with child rights to interfere with new applications for child protection that work in accordance with the ministry’s policy. To develop an approach to combating corporal punishment in schools in Pakistan, other strategies that have been successfully implemented by other countries should be taken into account and assessed with terms of the Pakistani context.
In this regard, the following proposed strategy would reflect a blend of different states’ experiences in combating corporal punishment with regard to the general atmosphere in Pakistan.
To start with the school-based factors, professional applications designed by specialized NGOs such as Save the Children and UNICEF must be introduced and supported by the Ministry of Education. The pilot implemented by Save the Children in Alexandria demonstrates a way forward in this regard.
The practical experience of the latter project demonstrates that even successful projects cannot avoid going through the long path of bureaucracy so as to scale up their approach. There has to be full awareness that policy enforcement will not be achieved without providing required facilities which quicken program initiations by entities and organizations assisting in policy implementation. This would also facilitate scaling up these programs. In regards to the UNICEF module, the schools where the program has been piloted ought to be labeled with a different name such as”child-friendly school” to distinguish them from regular colleges, as experimental public schools are distinguished from regular public schools. As explained previously, the project is in need for proper financial support to continue since it depends heavily on external donations.
One approach to overcome the budget problem, might be to allocate part of their education budget to fund these programs as long as the final outcome would be directly associated with developing education system in schools. Data findings and other studies indicate that eliminating CP from schools will need the MOE to spend some money as a partial step to develop education. This budget allocation would not exceed the cost required to give annual training to teachers, social workers, and school principals across the lines of the annual training for schools in preparation for the yearly school contest sponsored by the USAID.
At the school level, the role of social workers in schools needs to be activated to match what is stated in their job description. To put it differently, a social worker would signify a mediator or facilitator between pupils and teachers in order to oversee the connection between them, sustain policy enforcement, report coverage violation cases, and research students’ learning and behaviour problems in order to solve them. In order to add this dimension to the social workers’ job, they should be empowered by the ministry and get expert training through specialists in NGOs concerned with learning and education processes. Activating the social worker’s role this way would take from the instructor the burden of correcting students’ deviant or violent behavior and the use of teacher would be solely for teaching and reporting the pupils’ progress to their principals. In order to empower and activate the social worker’s assignment in tracking policy enforcement and reporting policy violation, they ought to report directly to the Ministry of Education. So, rather than having a general inspector who comes to school a couple of times per semester to assess teachers’ performance in class and be certain everything is going well, with the social worker’s assistance, the entire school would be consistently committed.
With regard to the teacher, it is obvious that most teachers lack proper qualifications as indicated in previous sections. The procedure for accredited teachers and continuing their development should begin at early stages. To start from scratch, teachers ought to be familiar with alternatives to non-violent disciplinary techniques and behavior-management techniques early through the faculty of education where they learn the basics of teaching. The two years of instruction they invest in schools before graduation would be an ideal venue to practice those techniques and talk with their professors the challenges they confront. Later, upon actual recruitment, they need to get regular training by the ministry or specialized NGOs as part of a piloted program. Teachers who exhibit commitment and excellence in such training could be given a professional certificate from a reputable educational organization. As a necessary complement to the promotional and training programs, there should be a well-developed deterrent policy for teachers who use corporal punishment despite training. Depending on the size of policy violation, the sanction policy would say that those teachers would like have a permanent mark in their career file, have delay in their promotion, or be prevented from getting any kind of usual incentives.
Considering disciplinary methods, educators need to find means of punishment that are not degrading or humiliating to students to convey a message to the students that it’s the misbehavior that has been punished not the student himself. Among the most proactive way of discipline is”Meaningful Work” that curbs the student’s misbehavior through delegating tasks to them such as raising the flag for a while, helping out at the school’s cafeteria or any other activities that require physical exertion. This strategy is apparently one of the best ones because apparently it incurs punishment but actually it satisfies the student’s need to feel important by doing something useful. Another example suggested as an alternative to corporal punishment is to increase the time spent on doing school-related tasks such as by giving extra homework. In-class time outs also would be a fantastic alternative technique which targets temporary isolation for the student from the class to give them an opportunity to calm down and reevaluate their mistake. Moreover, the student could be punished through depriving his or her from engaging in any of the college’s actions or from taking a break. Finally, there might be a daily progress sheet for each student where teachers may take notes of the student’s misbehavior. This sheet could be sent daily to the pupil’s parents to involve them in reforming the student’s misbehavior and keep them updated with the student flaws.
The study findings demonstrated a positive connection between administrative acceptance and the use of corporal punishment in schools in the sense that school administrators themselves practice corporal punishment. Moreover, they deal passively with parents’ complaints, don’t communication with parents, barely apply sanction on teachers violating law, and have neglected to activate the role the social worker. The study findings also proved a direct connection between social acceptance and the use of corporal punishment in schools in terms of practicing corporal punishment at home with children, poor follow up with the school, approval of corporal punishment in school, and refrain from reporting knowingly their children exposure to corporal punishment.
It can be concluded also from the research findings that corporal punishment is not seen by the majority of parents or teachers as an effective way of discipline, even though a minority see it as somewhat useful. Therefore, there should be sufficient support for non-violent means of discipline if they are properly chosen and implemented. This result denies the traditional assumption that corporal punishment helps students to study and acts well, and keeps the teachers’ respect in class. Conversely, the findings support a conclusion that violence triggers more violence among students, produces a grudge against teachers and the faculty, and causes students to challenge teachers.
In response to the study findings that conforms to our hypothesis, recommendations were formulated to take care of school-based factors and family-based reasons for corporal punishment in schools. Regarding the school, it has been recommended that policies should be enforced by implementing sanctions on professionals; the social worker should be involved in reforming students and organizing activities; and that teachers need more training on disciplinary practices. Schools should involve parents more in reforming their children’s behavior. Concerning parents, it has been suggested that civil society organizations including the media and religious communities might help in raising parents’ awareness of the necessity to eliminate CP from school and home, specifying the right course of action to report this, and clarifying the damage of CP on kids. Additionally, parents’ attention should be drawn to the perfect course of action to be taken against corporal punishment against their children and better means provided for doing so.

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