Corporal punishment goes against principle of respect in society

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 12:17am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 7:37pm

I refer to the letter by Eunice Li (“Corporal punishment will act as deterrent for hard-core students”, September 17). It offers nothing more than a wrong direction in probing the current situation.

Corporal punishment may have seemed effective and usual in the past, but that does not mean its use is justified in the present day. Parents and teachers using lenient methods to teach youngsters do so not because they wish to spoil them, which admittedly is part of the reason, but, more importantly, because it is a more modern and progressive technique to achieve the same ends of teaching as in the past.

Our society is becoming more aware of the value of upholding the principle of respect, which is what we want in our society and in our next generations. It is certainly a sign of progress in our society which everyone is delighted to see.

Going back to the so-called good old days of using slight violence to act as a deterrent may not be an appropriate form of teaching as it may violate the present values in our society and also indicate that our society is moving backwards.

Corporal punishment, to be frank, is using violence to get youngsters to fall in line with the order we might want to achieve. It might be effective while they do not have the same ability of violence, to resist and/or do wrong.

As there are many more young activists to be seen in our city today, especially involved in incidents related to the heated political issues broadcast in traditional mass media, it is not surprising to see that most of the older generations tend to criticise the modern way of teaching. They advocate the old way of punishment to deal with what they see as a seemingly uncontrollable situation.

Education should not be about punishment but enlightenment, and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

Choi Wai, Tuen Mun