I was very interested in the article, “Discipline: Have we let our guard down?” which was published in the Education Magazine of The New Times edition of July 10. I am a teacher in an American High School (ages 14 to 18 years old). I have more than 30 years of experience and all I can tell you is that we do not beat our students.
I have some advices that I think would be helpful to teachers and parents in Rwanda.
How does one “make” a student do school work and behave well in class? First, we the teachers should treat students with respect and in turn expects the same from them.
Secondly, I have come to the conclusion that a teacher cannot always be responsible for the laziness and disinterest of a student. It is, however, important to foster a learning environment in the classroom so those who distract should be removed...
Parents are not always supportive, and this is a problem. I teach Debate and surely this would be a great topic. Our students would be horrified that they could face corporal punishment while at school. Most of us are taught to discipline in ways that instruct and not “destruct”.
I have two grown children who are both successful and I never hit either my son or my daughter. I wish the teachers and parents of Rwanda well. I also appreciate reading The New Times on the Internet.
Christine Boisvert, Maine, United States
I think that beating and flogging children is really not the answer and there are so many other forms of repremands that reinforce discipline. I do not remember the beating punishments I got as a child but I remember the ones that made me really understand that I had done wrong. That’s how things should be done when it comes to children and students.
Beating children is one of the things that I consider outdated. Beating is not the same as a slap on the wrist by the way. Getting a stick and hitting a child is out of question. Even animals shouldn’t be treated that way.
Eva Gara, Kigali, Rwanda
It is possible to discipline students without flogging them