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School CP - June 2005

Corpun file 16060

China Post, Taipei, 17 June 2005

Corporal punishment in schools rampant despite ban: study

The China Post staff

The Ministry of Education had banned the use of bodily punishments in public schools across the country last December. But in reality, this law, despite being in effect for six months already, is not being properly enforced, as the results from a survey conducted by the Humanistic Education Foundation reveals.

The survey involved 3,240 middle and lower school students across the country. A total of 69.59 percent of the middle school students and 56.15 percent of lower school students received physical punishment from teachers this year. If this is the case, statistically speaking, out of 2.83 million students currently enrolled in schools, 1.84 million have been physically punished at least once this year.

The survey also included percentages by county, with Taitung at top with 83.54 percent and Ilan the lowest at 45 percent.

In general, students were punished for breaking school or classroom rules, such as swearing, fighting, being rude to teachers, or sleeping in class. Not performing up to standard on assessments also resulted in the same consequences.

Punishments meted out to students included hitting buttocks or palms with a stick, flicking ear lobes, slapping faces, or forced standing for extended periods of time.

Students are fairly divided on the issue of physical punishment. Out of the students interviewed, 33.5 percent think that because they were the ones who did not perform well, the punishments imposed were justified. On the other hand, 18.8 percent felt revengeful after they receive their punishments. The remaining percentage gave conflicting replies.

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