Thursday, 24 July 2014

Spare the Rod; Don't Spoil (Your) Life

I was browsing through the kuensel online and read about a principal of the school found guilty and convicted for manhandling a student. I felt a tinge of pity for him. His intentions must have been good to make the student, a disciplined citizen. But in the modern times there are limits to the force that one can use even to subdue a criminal by the law enforcement body. And the students, I guess, are not criminal and life threatening.  

As if to remind me that I should not pity him and to have faith in our judicial system; towards the evening when I was just surfing the TV channel I saw a tutor kicking and throwing the child who is just 4 years old, like you would throw a pillow on the mat. It was captured by the CCTV, so said the reporter. Simultaneously there was also a huge man shown on same channel, beating a hell out of a child, he must be a teacher (or a parent), but the fact is that the child was so helpless with lashes falling on his back like rain. The child was even seen trying to hug the man. By any standard that was an excessive use of force.

This made me remember my schooling days - We used to get bashed up for not knowing the lesson, isn’t it funny? We are going to school to learn because we don’t know and for not knowing we get caned. Especially those teaching Dzongkha are the ones who are most feared. We dread going to school, thus the canning begins from home because our parents used it, to drive us to the school. We had nowhere to report for our own parents who were illiterate, warranted the teachers to beat us up. It must be the same with those bold teachers beating the child. The parent’s of the child must have told to beat him up if he does not listen. That’s why there is law to protect the child and it is there for a reason. There may be some teachers who would be ready to use force if it is warranted by law, that too an excessive one to instill fear. Some teachers with killer instincts can do like this …… ‘Corrective punishment’ is never given using brute force and teachers are supposed to give ‘corrective punishment’ - Punishment that is designed to correct pupils but not to destroy them. ‘Punitive punishments’ and ‘demonstrative punishment’ – canning a pupil in assembly is best, avoided. I heard that, this still goes on in some of the schools maybe because the one who is doing that was brought up like that. We need to break the vicious cycle somewhere and that’s - now.

Things had changed and changing for good. My kids are not afraid to go to school perhaps due to the changed attitude in teachers or because of the faith that, if they do not know they will not be beaten or because of the stringent law protecting them from being manhandled.

Children can sometimes get into one’s nerves, all the parents know that therefore, parents won’t mind a little bit of ‘Autom’ here and pat there. But use of excessive force leaving scars at the wrong places would be a big - “NO”.   

(We should be thankful to the teachers for what we are today, at the same time it is hard to forget half of my classmates who could not make it because they lacked tenacity, but had a kind parents)