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Why is corporal punishment counterproductive in the school setting?

Some decades back, corporal punishment was the palm oil with which knowledge was consumed in Africa. Even parents backed teachers to inflict their children with the severest physical punishment possible. And some old saying holds that “a whip is a real medicine for the black man.”

While it seemingly worked well in some cases, it was a complete failure. You may be wondering how it was a failure.

Well, let me tell you a real short story before diving into the matter properly.

When I was in class five, I went missing for two weeks without going to school. The reason was simple and funny: a new teacher had come to my class with a terrible whip that got the whole class scared to death. Unfortunately, I was absent on that day so a friend had to relate the story to me. Gripped by fear, I almost dropped out of school. It took the patience of my parents to have me back on track.

One economist once asserted that labour is most efficient when it’s free. And it’s been proven so.

Is it not the same as learning is most productive when the learner is free and happy? Beating scares the hell out of children, putting them under great pressure.


So what is the bottom line?

The quickest and most reliable way out is to inculcate the culture of proper discipline in our kids right from the very early days of innocence. And most importantly, action must accompany words.  Don’t tell your kid it is wrong to fight when actually you fight with your neighbour every day. How will a teacher expect good moral behavior from his pupils when he chases his neighbor with a machete.?

If you hit a rod while it is still hot, you can determine its shape and direction but if you wait for it to get cold, you may manage to dictate its direction but not its shape.

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