IN an article, Order and Control in Schools, D Orere (2006) said children today are “developing behaviours … which are not expected of them as students.”
This leads to the question of whether corporal punishment should be re-introduced into the education system in Papua New Guinea.
While Orere stressed it would be difficult to impart knowledge to frightened students, there are other reasons for corporal punishment to be reinstated.
Teachers are held responsible and criticised for the wrongdoing of the youngsters even as society becomes more lawless, violent and undisciplined.
There is less respect for authority, politeness and good manners, and children today are ruder, use more bad language and are careless about their appearance.
“School must be held in part to be blamed for this state of affairs, for it is their products which are failing to come to the desired standard.
“Teachers are not doing enough to impart the right knowledge to children and to ensure that their behaviours are socially acceptable” Straughan (1982).
Teachers must teach children not only to be knowledgeable but to be good. It is for this reason that corporal punishment was allowed in schools when PNG was governed by the Europeans.
Corporal punishment should also be re-introduced into the education system because of falling education standards. Students do not know as much as they should or do not know the right things and they are failing to achieve basic skills required to earn a living when they leave school.
As John Nicholas, Deputy Provincial Administrator of Morobe said, “They were smacked like animals just to put more knowledge into their heads if they [were] slow in learning.”
Students who are not serious in their schoolwork should be punished so they can be pushed in the right direction. Most successful people today who had a taste of corporal punishment in the past now appreciate it.
Another reason why corporal punishment should be reinstated is because the school curriculum is likely to provoke conflict and lead to personality problems. The content of education is not natural to our society.
Non-core subject such as agriculture, home economics and practical skills should be given more emphasis and, if students are not serious, then smack them so they see the real importance.
As Baine (2001) stated: “The number of students entering tertiary institution is less compared to the number of drop outs after secondary.”
Due to this, there is an increase in criminal activity in the country because young people do not know what to do with their life. They have been fed with garbage from this Western education system and lack skills, knowledge and attitudes to meet their real needs.
It is for this reason that students from Western countries such as Australia are more advanced compared to PNG. Corporal punishment should be re-introduced to prepare our children for the real situation in the future.
Although it is clear that the corporal punishment should be re-introduced, there are some areas where it is not necessary; in dealing with human rights, for instance.
The solution to this is to organise effective disciplinary committees in schools, approved by the government, to deal with specific students so they can see the importance of having a good education.