UP minister favours caning

Schoolteachers cheer him for backing corporeal punishment

Psychologists, education experts and the Supreme Court may think that caning students is improper, but a senior Uttar Pradesh minister feels that a ban on caning in schools has encouraged indiscipline among students.

Also, students have stopped taking interest in studies as they know that they will not be subjected to physical punishment.

The minister, Ram Govind Chaudhary, who is in charge of the basic education department, cites his own experience to buttress his contention. “When I was a student, my teacher used to cane me five times for every wrong answer,” Chaudhary said at a felicitation function here on Sunday evening.

“Students used to open their palm before the teacher whenever they gave a wrong answer and would happily accept punishment. As a result of caning, students used to be disciplined and studied harder,” he said.

“The situation is different today. Students know that teachers cannot cane them and hence, they have no fear. It encourages indiscipline,” said Chaudhary.

“Teachers cannot do anything if students do not do their homework,” he said. He also took exception to scrapping of examination for students from six to 14 years old under the Right to Education Act, and questioned the views of psychologists and education experts on caning and conducting examinations.

“The system has ruined the teaching atmosphere in schools,” he said. Students must be caned so that they know the importance of discipline and learning, he added. Teachers present at the function cheered the minister’s remarks.

“He is absolutely right. We must be given the right to give physical punishment to students,” said a teacher, refusing to reveal his name.

Chaudhary had some advice for teachers too. He told them to be sincere and honest with their work and not indulge in politicking.

He assured them that he will  take steps to resolve their problems. Those who favour caning say it promotes discipline and students try to work harder. But others say caning is a form of abuse and violence, and that there are other equally effective methods.

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