The headline ‘Top teacher wants corporal punishment reintroduced’ (Kaieteur News 13 July, 2010) led into an interesting story of the views of Mr France, the best graduating teacher from CPCE this year.
It is important to hear these views about beating children. Some time ago, it was believed that teacher training in Guyana was going to be revolutionary and train a cadre of professionals who would be skilled at managing their students without needing to resort to violence or the use of violence.
It is clear, that this is not happening since the best graduating teacher still feels that teachers should be able to have access to the whip.
With all the problems of early school leavers in Guyana, it is unfortunate that the academic institutions are not preparing the professionals to understand the history of licks. There is bad behaviour by all sorts of people all over the place, and many of the people who are keen to beat children do not themselves expect to be beaten for any infraction of any law.
In a society in which violence has intensified, it is becoming more and more difficult for anyone to imagine a society in which children are not beaten for any reason or threatened with licks.
Mr France in his interview reflected the dilemma which faces all of us, we were beaten by people who said they did it in our best interests.
That is how mental and physical abuse are linked, that you are somehow worthless as a human being and that loving you means beating you. Tragically, many people joke about the situations in domestic violence where some women claim ‘if he dont beat me he dont love me’.
A lot of us have watched how teachers have used their weapons indiscriminately, while many of us have been fortunate to be in classrooms where no teacher ever had to use a weapon because there was mutual respect between the teacher and their students.
One day in Guyana, as we do now with domestic violence, we will no longer accept violence against children.