Benjamin Siu, 17 St Joseph's College Yes. Corporal punishment has played a part in disciplining children for centuries. Canes used to be, and still are in some countries, considered teaching aids. Teachers were expected, even encouraged, to use them. But, since the late 1950s, disciplining children through physical means was gradually phased out in favour of counselling and more compassionate treatment. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, the younger generation has shown a lack of discipline and disrespect towards adults. There have been calls for 'good old spankings' to be reintroduced. I am against cruelty to any life form, especially people, but physical punishment has immediate effects. Corporal punishment is not an ideal long-term educational approach, but it brings obvious results with young children. Talking things over with a small child who has been naughty might not be effective. They need to be disciplined when they are young enough to learn. Most teachers are not allowed to use physical punishment. Rulers are returned to their original purpose, and children are free to wreck classrooms while teachers look on. All teachers can do is give verbal warnings. Parents are very protective of their children. They intervene if teachers punish them. This spoils the children and undermines their respect for authority figures. We shouldn't beat children, but if we use corporal punishment sparingly, the next generation will be smarter and much better behaved. Jocelyn Heng, 15 Maryknoll Convent School No, such primitive disciplinary methods are not helpful in teaching a child. Children will not benefit if parents insist on blindly following traditional approaches. Although children need to be disciplined during their early years, spanking them is not the most effective solution. It will only make them more resentful and rebellious. Corporal punishment instils fear rather than gets the message across. It might also have a psychological effect on children. They might feel unloved. We should consider more moderate alternatives, such as withholding certain privileges. Not only are these measures less harmful to children, they can also teach them to bear the consequences of their own actions. Some people might say that young children are unable to judge whether their actions are right or wrong, so incorrect values or actions should be discouraged by using physical punishment. But if you simply punish them without further action, will they understand what they did wrong? Wouldn't it be more confusing for the children if you hit them for reasons they cannot understand? Reasoning and guidance are better than punishment. The aim of education is to facilitate understanding and self-control, not to scare children.