What are the new methods of punishment in schools?
Stabroek News
January 19, 2002

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter by Aubrey Maison and Parbattie Singh captioned 'Modern methods of disciplining students are time consuming' [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] (SN 17/01/02). It seems to me that the teachers are more concerned with how this change is affecting them and not the students. And it seems reasonable to suggest that it's the 'change' that's the problem (no one likes it!).

Had they focused their letter on whether or not the modern disciplinary methods had a worsening learning outcome for students, I would have been more sympathetic to their grievance. What matters is whether or not the changes are impacting to a greater or lesser degree on the learning outcome and student experience. And it's yet too early to tell.

The teachers say that the time spent applying the new methods of discipline is impinging on the time spent attending to needy students. I'd like to know just how this is so, because surely time was spent applying the whip, hushing the bawling student, fretting and then resettling the other pupils. Perhaps an outline of the new methods for comparative purposes would be worthwhile.

I am quite disturbed to hear that these and other teachers would rather a quick fix method (one that inspires fear more than anything) of discipline than one which requires a little more time and will at the same time prevent the type of brute force injuries on children we've been reading about in Stabroek News throughout last year. I suggest that these teachers embrace the changes or consider alternative ones which may be put to the Ministry, as corporal punishment is horrendously archaic.

Yours faithfully,

Michelle Stoby

ESS Quality Officer

University of North London