Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Corporal Punishment as a Means of Discipline for Children (A Case Study of District Nowshera, Kpk - Pakistan)

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Corporal Punishment as a Means of Discipline for Children (A Case Study of District Nowshera, Kpk - Pakistan)

Article excerpt

Introduction

Corporal punishment can be defined as "any act of parents or caretaker which intended to cause physical pain or injury for the purposes of correction and control" (Cohen, 1978). Whipping children by means of rods or sticks or hitting with a slap or pulling ears or tying them up are all examples of corporal punishment (Ismail, 1998).

Most of the scientific studies reviewed support the argument that corporal punishment has harmful effects because it diminishes a child's confidence and can also lead to signs of gloominess and fretfulness. The other effect often cited is that the punishment may backfire by making the child seem to be a hero among his or her peers for improper activities (Erikson, 1999). According to the American Psychological Association Commission on Violence and Youth (1991): "Physical punishment may fabricate compliance for the small time, but if sustained for a longer time it can increase the possibility of hostile and aggressive behavior during childhood and adulthood" (Walt, 1991).

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Article 19, also states that children should be protected from the maltreatment of parents and other guardians, and that each member country should establish programs to prevent the children from sufferings. It further says in Article 28 that each member state should take measures to decrease school dropout rates, and school disciplinary measures should ensure each child's human dignity (Maurer, 1999).

As this study was done in Pakistan, it is worth noting, as Ismail has done (1998), that corporal punishment of children is also against the teachings of Islam, in which the adult is instructed to show kindness towards children and treat them with love and affection (Ismail, 1998). However, in a strange contradiction, Section 89 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) allows teachers, parents and other guardians to use physical punishment as a means to discipline a child less than 12 years of age. However, it also makes it clear that the punishment should not be so harsh as to seriously injure the child as defined in section 319 (hurt) and 320 (grievous) of the PPC, in which case the adults can be booked under section 323 and 325 of the PPC respectively and be penalized and imprisoned (Ismail, 1998).

Khan, Asad, Ahmed & Sajid(2014) found that corporal punishment fails to motivate students for studies. However, when administered after a mistake, corporal punishment also makes some students realize their mistakes. It creates hate amongst students against the teachers who use such violent methods of disciplining.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to identify the prevalence of the practice of corporal punishment in schools, the effects of punishment on the minds of students and to explore the relationship of corporal punishment to dropping out of school. These objectives are pursued through a survey with teachers and interviews with students.

Methodology

The universe of the study was District Nowshera of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. Proportionate random sampling technique was used to select the sample that was 100 respondents, including 80 students and 20 teachers. Keeping in view the nature of the study, a questionnaire was used with the teachers and an interview schedule was used with the students to collect the data. The exact location of the schools and respective teachers and students is kept confidential to ensure their personal and job security.

Findings: Teacher Respondents

Findings show that of the teacher respondents, 90% were in favor of giving punishment and only 10% were not in favor of giving punishment (See Table 1). Furthermore, 44% of the respondents who favored some kind of punishment (8 of the 18) referred to corporal punishment; the remaining 10 of the 18 (approximately 55%) preferred to giving fines. When the two teachers who disapproved of corporal punishment were asked what the reason was, one said that it creates a negative impact on the students, and the other said, because it creates no positive encouragement of students. …

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