Corporal punishment not the easy answer to restoring order
The Times Editorial: Pupils want corporal punishment to be brought back to schools, saying it will help strengthen discipline.
Speaking at a schools summit yesterday in Soweto, pupils broke their silence and said corporal punishment should be brought back to deal with "chaos" in their schools.
Gauteng's education MEC, Barbara Creecy, who is the convener of the summit, established the schools summits last year after a number of schools in the township failed to achieve satisfactory examination results.
Yesterday's summit, which was attended by a large number of pupils, tackled issues such as late-coming, alcohol abuse and ill-discipline at schools.
Pupils, who one would have thought would blame teachers and the education system for the chaos, shocked everyone by demanding that tougher action be taken against their misbehaving peers.
One pupil, from Protea Glen Secondary School, Soweto, told the summit that "more discipline at schools would improve learning". He said students gambled during teaching time.
Other pupils called for corporal punishment to be reinstated to stop children from coming to school late - and often drunk.
Though the government has banned corporal punishment, parents, including some within the ANC, continue to lobby the state to implement stringent measures to bring order to our schools.
Those among us who want our children punished for bad behaviour should not forget the number of instances of pupils being hospitalised because of the inordinate severity of their punishment at school.
Though corporal punishment brought order in the past, it also forced a number of pupils out of the school system.
We should find other measures to bring order to the schools and not look at a system that created more problems than it solved - problems that we are still having to deal with today.