SUNDAY MAGAZINE

No corporal punishment

Apropos "Beyond Punishment", (February 11), my experience of nearly four decades in schools and colleges strongly confirms the view that corporal punishment does not reform delinquent students. It hardens them, makes them vindictive and also progressively unruly. However, both parents and teachers must find more effective alternatives of controlling provocative misconduct and indiscipline, which is sometimes tiresomely repetitive. What is needed is the identification of physically and mentally harmless measures, which teachers can use in the student's own interest. A sad fact today is the protection that unruly children get from their helpful mates and indulgent parents, leaving the aggrieved teacher and the school in a quandary. Dr. G.R. Kanwal
New DelhiShoba Menon is correct in saying that there will not be any improvement through the use of corporal punishment. It creates hatred towards the teachers and parents. Children today are very sensitive and do not want to be insulted either getting beaten or abused verbally. Today, teachers and parents want quick results. They do not understand and do not want to understand why some children are slow learners. R. Kanagaraj
Anaimalai, Tamil NaduThe article inspires us to forget the old parenting attitude that the children can be controlled with corporal punishment. Indian parents have been following this for a long, long time. However avoiding corporal punishment should not be in obedience to a legal ban; we must realise that children too have their own world. One can only hope that teachers and parents will create child-friendly environments and understand that corporal punishment is not a path that leads to better learning and better behaviour. B. Venkateswarlu,
Koilkuntla, Andhra PradeshNo civilised person can approve corporal punishment. The duty of a teacher is to teach and not terrorise. One wonders how a student who is not `bright' can be made bright through terror tactics. Moral delinquency, deliberate lying, obscenity and flagrant insubordination can be set right through gentle persuasion, mild admonishment, appropriate scolding and proper advice. A teacher who cannot exercise his authority in a dignified way should have no place in any centre of learning. Violence against children is as heinous a crime as any other. It is the dignity of the child that deserves top priority. T.S.Pattabhi Raman
Coimbatore Send your feedback to >magazine@thehindu.co.in