21st May 2004, 09:20 AM
In case you are unaware of the situation -
The Principal is laterally transferred to MOE HQ to hold a post of equivalent status and therefore he still remains in the education service. He tendered his resignation to step down as Principal and was approved, but MOE has issued a statement that even if he did not intend to resign from his current appointment, MOE would still insist that he step down as what he had done was against his professionalism.
With this, all of you know what stand MOE is taking. They believe in the "Professional" approach. No more treatment of students like those in the 70s and 80s.
When I was in Primary 3 (that was in 1985), I was once caned (2 strokes on the buttocks) by the Discipline Master just because I was passing some Art materials to a classmate during the Assembly when the Principal was giving a speech. Unfair as I might feel, but it did not have any negative impact on me. If anyone were unable to shrug off the negative effects of such capital punishment while growing up, I would say this person is too weak for society.
I would say a strict disciplinary environment is essential for building a sound character. But MOE wants all the creativity from students, which, as I said before, somewhat conflicts with discipline. People usually associate "disciplined" with "dull" and "rebellious" with "creative", which to me is very true.
The solution would be one which strikes a good balance between these two. For teachers, one needs find the solutions to about 100 students, each one uniquely different from another. Anyone interested in teaching?
21st May 2004, 10:09 AM
I am afraid I have to disagreed with Yaoxing here.
creativity != not disciplined
I believe that this is a problem that we are facing here. We don't understand what's the definition of creativity at all. Some of the most creativity people around are also probably the most disciplined people around. If not, they probably would never succeed in their art at all.
If MOE is really taking this approach to creativity, then they are probably taking the wrong approach. Honestly, the disciplinary system in Singapore pales in comparision to many nearby countries. Let's take S. Korea for example. Teachers in schools dun just hit students on the palms. They hit them on the head, punch them and many of them carry a cane to class. It's not discipline at all, it's violence.
But then again, S.Korea is probably like one of the most creativity country in Asia. They are the people that came up with games like Ragnarok and Gunbound. They are the people who powers the whole Japanese animation industry. Yes, no kidding, take a look at the credits when you watch an anime the next time. The production team are probably Koreans. The Korean entertainment industry churns out more singers, pop groups, actors and actress in one year than anywhere else in Asia. The Battle of the Year 2000 champion is a Korean hiphop dance group "Expression". Heck, they are the people who came up with BoA!
It's not to say that I endorse violence in school. It's just that corporal punishment shouldn't be made a scapegoat in promoting creativity. Kids these day, sad to say, aren't very well-disciplined at home, and if they don't learn discipline in school, where else do we expect them to learn it?
21st May 2004, 10:24 AM
Confucius had 2 disciples, Mencius and Hsun Tzu.
Mencius believed that man was born good, and only became evil because of external influences.
Hsun Tzu, on the other hand, believed that man was born with evil desires, and required strict authoritarian discipline to make him good.
But if all men are born good, whence comes the evil to corrupt men's minds?
And if all men are born evil, whence comes the moral impulse to discipline them to good?
Anyway, anyone who has had children will understand that Hsun Tzu was probably nearer to the truth than Mencius (who probably left his kids to his wife to look after).
I'll say this without apology - I believe in corporal punishment. Children are NOT little adults, and sometimes pain is the only language they can understand. I really don't believe my kids have been screwed up just because they've been caned, in fact I believe they're better for it. I haven't had to cane them for the last 3-4 years.
It says somewhere: "If you beat your son, he will not die". This can be taken in 2 ways. One is that the loving cane strokes of a father will never be strong enough to kill his son. The other is that by disciplining him you are likely saving him from a worse fate (eg if Michael Fay was caned as a kid, he would probably not have been caned by the Singapore Government).
Notwithstanding this, I think the principal did the right thing in resigning. The rules are there to prevent abuse of children by teachers. No matter how you put it, the principal lost his temper and hit the student in anger, and the rules say he had to go. I'm glad he was moved to an equivalent post. I have nothing but respect for his decision and his actions.
Hopefully now they will remove that silly rule about not caning girls (but I doubt it), so that in future, principals and teachers in his situation have recourse. Little girls can be just as evil as little boys, and both understand the lesson of pain equally well.
21st May 2004, 11:19 AM
The best welfare is harsh punishment ?
21st May 2004, 08:01 PM
the problem with punishment is that, it may not be seen as a pushiment in students. during my sec 3 days, public caning in sch is a sign of status. most of us hardcore offenders have been caned at least once. do we feel bad after the caning? i would say no, and even till today i'm still proud of it, at least i have been caned infront of the sch, how many of u have been given such great honour?
so if u ever want to cane students like me, i think it would be better to lock me up in a cellar and wack me with the cane 643362576267653736767 times, maybe then i will abide with the rules, for the fear of the cane. but i may not repent for my mistake.
but at the end, i think the best solution for hardcore offenders would be rewarding, rather than punish. give them incentive to change, rather than hoping ur useless punishment would make them change. all those useless cwo, dentention will never work.
banish those hardcore offenders to a lousy class would just make things worst, they will just all gang up and cause more problems. i would rather offer them an incentive by letting them have an option of moving to a better class where they can better concentrate on studies, than to mix with other bad egg.
in case u are wondering, during my sec 4 year, i was given a promotion and moved up to a slighty better class, that was the year that i have changed the most. lesser visits to the principal office during that year.
23rd May 2004, 01:14 AM
in a democratic society, we're toking about TRANSPARENCY. from my perspective, there is no practice of that, AT ALL, in the case of this principal's decision to resign from his post in his school.
Throughout the entire saga, MOE kept emphasising that this would be done, that would be done, the principal will be transferred to another post in the ministry to continue to serve in the enducation sector, blah blah. but the truth is, how many of us at least saw/heard how the proceedings were done? Were there ANY formal media receptions for this entire case? It was, SOLVED, more or less, quietly until the case has lost the media's attention. (like any other HUGE reports like beckham's scandals....)
In my primary & secondary school days, CANING WAS carried out, in a fair and just manner. This has warned us of what we shoud/should not be doing and become good servants of the society. Coporal punishments were also inevitable. What was most outrageous was that this case was COMPARED To THE form of COPORAL PUNISHMENTS. What do they know about coporal punishments?
I'ld like to take this opportunity to tell whoever is reading this is that MOE has been taking the wrong steps to many things since it started its reformations in its education schemes (for eg. taking off streaming P4 blah blah...). May I please know, where are our voices? Do the heartlanders get to speak of any sores made by the ministry's decisions? Do the students get to vote? Do we have any choice? Do we have to listen and accept decisions that comes in our way made by a group of scholars whos' governing us? Democracy? Republic? People?
23rd May 2004, 01:38 AM
erm, I don't get you...how much more transparent do you want it to be? Public inquiry by a panel of independent adjudicators selected internationally? I thought this is quite transparent already what, MOE acknowledges that the principal lost control, the principal tenders his resignation from the post of principal, and was transferred elsewhere. Why would you need a full blown media circus over the incident?
Originally Posted by jonlou
Why is it outrageous that the case is compared to the forms of corporal punishment? In fact I personally see the case as one of personal injury rather than corporal punishment. The principal, of course, has the right to dish out corporal punishment, provided it's within guidelines laid out. But in this case, the principal simply lost his cool and lashed out at a student. The fact that the principal lost all professionalism and self-control in a situation where he shouldn't is why he resigned, which I felt was the correct move.
24th May 2004, 10:28 AM
I think education starts at home. If you send a spoilt brat to school, you get brat treatment.
Originally Posted by StealthEagle
24th May 2004, 11:35 AM
24th May 2004, 12:09 PM
Originally Posted by AReality
Yes, sadly, if a parent keep telling the child "You re STUPID/USELESS/IDIOT" the low self esteems will build.
I was canned almost every other day by either parent, sometimes both. I was really mischievious and naughty, getting into real trouble without understanding the consequences (like jumping from 1st storey to the yard. I am now a father of two and I beat, scold and spank my children. Will they have any negative effects? I certainly don't think so, considering the fact that I am now SO VERY thankful for my parents aministration of punishment on me.
The key here is to punish according to the gravity of the crime, and to explain the reason and consequence. You'll be surprise, my daughter, not even two years of age, knows that when she has committed an offence that she had already been warned, she'll automatically show me her hand and say "beat". At that point, I can decide to forgive her for her honesty or to beat her as she knows she should be getting. In any case, the matter is concluded with a resolution, the child feels no more guilt (redeemed by punishment or forgiveness) and the event is remembered. It is normally a very long time later that a similar offence will take place.
What if I had chosen not to beat at all? She'll hear some naggings and warnings, blah blah, and upon the next incident, will remember that the consequence is just some blah blah. THAT will make a child delinquent when they grow up.
And scoring 100%? hahaha, who am I to impose that? I didn't score 100% myself! The question is whether the child has been diligent in studies. Grades is only one measure, way overrated in Singapore.
24th May 2004, 03:28 PM
thats the extreme which is bad. the child needs to know why he/she is being punished, and you should never punish a child for not doing well esp if he/she has put in the effort.
Originally Posted by AReality
24th May 2004, 03:33 PM
25th May 2004, 02:09 AM
25th May 2004, 10:51 AM
Singapore caned an American teenager sometime back, even when half the world was crying out, "Barbarians!". The defence was that the punishment befits the crime and it is a law. Drug traffickers are still hung, and isn't that harsh punishment? Strange that our children are not initiated into the realities of life, but shaded from it!
If similar guidelines/laws can be put up for schools, there'll be no question on harsh punishments. E.g. stealing = 5 strokes, fighting = 2 strokes, etc. If the child commits an offence knowing the consequence, he deserves it.