Opinion / From the Press

Should teachers punish pupils?

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-03 07:39

The public should respect teaching methods as long as they are reasonable and condemn those that are irrational, says an article in Yangtze Evening News. Excerpts:

A teacher of a nursery school in Loudi, Hunan province, bought 50 kilograms of sunflower seeds and forced the pupils in her class to eat them as a punishment for consuming sunflower seeds in class despite being told not to do so. After consuming only a small part of the sunflower seeds, the students apologized for their misconduct and were forgiven by the teacher.

The incident has sparked a public debate, with some people criticizing the teacher for misusing her authority to teach the children a lesson irrespective of how good or bad it is. Given the huge pressure created by the media and public, this time the teacher was almost forced to apologize to the students for her behavior.

This has given rise to a very pertinent question: How should teachers exercise their powers to mete out rational punishment to children at a time when students' rights are stressed to such an extent that any kind of physical punishment is considered improper? Compared with the situation even three decades ago, the tables are now turned against teachers and in favor of students.

The protection of students' rights has reached an extreme point, while teachers' rights have gone largely ignored. Asking students to eat sunflower seeds is apparently not a kind of physical punishment.

In many developed countries, although physical punishment is prohibited, teachers still have the power to punish students. For example, teachers in the United Kingdom can ask students to reflect on their actions if they commit a mistake or do something wrong.

The public should view teachers with more respect and sympathy even if at times they use some usual methods to pull up children for their mistakes, because they are the ones who lay the real foundation for students' future.

Most Viewed Today's Top News
Considering money as the end is the tragedy