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School CP - October 1998


Straits Times, Singapore, 18 October 1998

Bid to ban caning in Thai schools

By Anuttra Chinalai
in Bangkok

CANING will be abolished in Thai schools, if a proposal by a group of educationists is accepted by the government.

The National Primary Education Commission (NPEC) proposed the ban to the Education Ministry earlier this week, in a move to change the system which many say is outdated.

It has also submitted a new set of regulations as a tentative model for the new "positive-reinforcement" method of punishment to be introduced in schools.

"Many people believe punishing students through physical means is not the way to teach them to behave," NPEC Secretary-General Dr Kasama Worawan na Ayuthaya told The Straits Times.

"Also, in some cases, there have been complaints from parents, so we are looking at other ways to discipline students."

She said studies done in schools across the country showed school administrators, teachers, students and parents agreeing that other forms of constructive punishment should be adopted.

"When teachers use unnecessary violence in punishing students, they scar the students physically and emotionally and violate their rights," she said.

A 1972 regulation had allowed caning in primary and secondary schools across Thailand.

To change this, the NPEC appointed a panel to amend the rules and propose new ones aimed at advising students and allowing them to learn positive behaviour.

These include volunteer work and compiling reports on student's behaviour.

Also, instead of resorting to suspension or expulsion, teachers will use a point system to monitor behaviour.

"We looked at methods which may be more beneficial to students -- such as having them do community service or having them explain their behaviour -- so that teachers can understand where problems lie," said Dr Kasama.

blob Follow-up: 13 September 2000 - Teachers find caning ban a bruise to their egos

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