PETALING JAYA: The human rights commission Suhakam has called for restraints on the use of caning in schools following a recent incident of a schoolboy suffering an eye injury resulting from the punishment.
Children’s commissioner Farah Nini Dusuki urged the education ministry to explore alternative discipline strategies to protect students’ dignity and inculcate respect.
She said educating through fear or pain had been proven to have negative consequences on the mental and physical health, as well as self-esteem of students.
Her statement came in the wake of news reports that a 17-year old student was injured in the right eye when he was caned by the discipline teacher at a school in George Town, Penang.
He had allegedly been vaping in class.
The teacher had started to cane him but accidentally hit the boy’s right eye, leading to injury, his father was quoted as saying. The boy was admitted to hospital for five days.
Farah said students should be made to understand the logical consequences of their misbehaviour and resolve any conflicts through dialogic learning.
Farah said although the education ministry had strict procedures on carrying out caning, there was always a risk of perpetrating severe harm if the person meting out the punishment was carried away by emotion or was careless.
“Therefore, there is an urgency to shift towards non-violent teaching and parenting methods to reduce the cases of any harm and injury resulting from corporal punishment,” she said.