Many speak out against corporal punishment at schools

Many speak out against corporal punishment at schools
Updated 17 February 2016

Many speak out against corporal punishment at schools

Many speak out against corporal punishment at schools

JEDDAH: A number of writers, lawyers, teachers and media persons all over the Kingdom have criticized the beating of students in schools, a local newspaper has reported.
They regard such punishment as a phenomenon that will lead to more violence and said that it should be eliminated.
Legal adviser Nawaf Al-Metwaa said striking students in schools and physical punishment is a widespread phenomenon in many Arab countries where governments are seeking to combat it and reduce its effects.
“Here in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Education has officially directed schools to ban hitting and beating students. In fact, the prohibition also involves all forms of violence such as holding a waving stick, physical and verbal violence as well as indirect threats,” he said.
He added that the matter is now in the hands of educators and teachers who must follow the ministry’s instructions.
He said the family also had a major role in reducing and curbing their children’s inappropriate behavior that might provoke teachers and prompt them to resort to violence or threats.
Iman Al-Shatri, a female writer, said hitting a pupil was insulting regardless of the form it took. “Teachers must be role models for their students,” she said.
Majid Al-Faisal, a lecturer on criminal justice and human rights at the Faculty of Law at King Abdul Aziz University, said Article 57 of the regulations issued by the Ministry of Education stipulates that a student may not be punished with beatings or any kind of physical or psychological punishments.
“The regulations in place regarding this issue were augmented recently by establishing the child protection system which criminalized any form of abuse against children,” said Al-Faisal.
He said Article 2 of the regulation stipulates that the system aims at protecting children against all kinds of abuse, either physical or psychological within their environment. The environment includes the home, the school, the neighborhood, in public places and social shelter houses or a foster family.
“The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution will initiate the necessary investigations concerning the violations and will refer the offenders to the competent court for consideration and imposing sentences on the violators,” he explained.
Osama Nugaliof the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the subject of beatings in school arouses mixed feelings.
“In the past, we students were used to beatings and physical abuse in schools but thankfully that did not affect our personalities or our academic achievements,” he said. “The older generation have gone on to responsible positions, in the Council of Ministers, the Shoura Council and successful businessmen and intellectuals. Nowadays, the situation is different perhaps because of the nature of today’s generation. Or because of the changes happening in educational methods used from one generation to another. One has to consider all these factors.”
Khalid Al-Khubairi, a media expert, appealed to the Ministry of Education to establish other methods for controlling the behavior of teachers toward their students. He suggested installing surveillance cameras in the classrooms.
“Thanks to modern technology the student was able to film the recent incident which occurred in Jeddah which prompted the education department to take necessary measures,” he said.
Nahid Bashatah, a media representative, said the incident of violence against students propelled the authorities to review the laws. “The ministry should rehabilitate and investigate the personality of the teacher so that he or she may become a good role model for the students and educate them without resorting to violence,” she added.