Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Should corporal punishment be in or out?

I am a victim of corporal punishment at the same time a victimizer of the same. In the early 1980’s as a student in class 1 in the then Changangkha primary school, I still recall a lady  teacher administering 20 times of harsh lashing on my hands by the tender branches of the willow trees. The willow trees are still there in the present Changangkha LSS fully matured. Every time I pass by the school I am reminded of that one incident in the classroom. The incident that had me relieve in the classroom out of fear of the teacher. I hated the school so much so that I refused to go to the school. My mother had to look for another school in the midst of the academic session.

I remember our Dzongkha lopens applying the harshness of the nettle sting on our tender skin. More than concentrating in the lesson we would be busy scratching the affected part. There was no learning in the classroom.

As a beginning teacher I administered the same kind of punishment to my students the way we were brought up in the school. Students used to fear me and I mistook that for respect. Even as a principal I did exactly the same kind of corporal punishment to students in the manner I was treated as a student. If I am ever asked to mention one thing that I regret in my life, it’s this application of the corporal punishment to my students.

Now after more than two decades the attitude of the people still hasn’t changed. We are now entering into the 21st century-in the world of information and technology. It is a fast paced world where children have become smarter, more sensitive and at the same time vulnerable. What worked two decades ago may not be applicable in today’s scenario. And so is the case of corporal punishment. We need to move with the changing pace of the world and accept changes with development.

Today there are many alternatives to dealing with students rather than the use of force. Positive discipline is one next to counseling. It is a matter of developing positive rapport and connection with students through care, warmth, love and support. Schools are oriented on the child friendly aspect of schooling. There are discipline guides provided by the ministry of education.

How can we base the social problems due to the ban of corporal punishment in the schools?  How about the many adults who are equally engaged in such social disharmony? What about the parental roles at home?  W may never know the violence in the youth today may be the result of the violence inflected on them at one point or the other. And in a place like Bhutan where GNH is the developmental philosophy, corporal punishment certainly has no room to stay. I am glad the realization dawned on me before it is too late and I don’t want our teachers to make the same mistakes like I did.


A Walk Worth Taking

As I walk into my office with the back pack and a carry lunch in my hand, some call me as OGB (over grown baby), some ask me if I am going on a hiking, and some ask me how the wintry cold doesn’t not deter me from walking to the office and many comment that I look like a school going kid with that bag on my back. I tell myself as long as I know what I am doing who cares a fig about these comments.

I have been walking to office since the onset of the winter. In fact, I have made a pact with my family that kids will walk to school when it’s not raining and my husband and I will walk to office in winter and when not raining in summer.

I was explaining to my kids that by walking they will be contributing in their own little ways towards Green school for Green Bhutan. We would be preventing environment pollution from vehicle emission; we would reduce traffic congestion and create one space for the parking lot. We would save our pocket with the fuel prizes hiking up every time. And over and above we would be keeping fit and healthy. There are lots of health benefits of taking a walk. People who walk regularly are less prone to hypertension and diabetic. Walking leaves you both mentally and physically sound.

The positive benefits of walking to office don’t stop there. Taking a walk to the office leaves u with ample time to connect to your inner self. It gives you time to contemplate as you walk mindfully. It gives you time to organize your work mentally so that you get to settle down the moment you are in the office. Besides, you get to observe and see lot of things which otherwise would be missed out if you are behind the wheel. Not to mention the morning sun that comes with lot of vitamin D.

I have realized that walking to office in winter is the best option over the cold car seat and cold steering wheel. In fact winter is the best time to walk without having to worry about the rain, or the speeding cars splashing water on you. You don’t even have to worry about the beads of sweats dripping down your face spoiling your fresh morning makeup. And walking back to home after work is even more refreshing. You get time to rejuvenate after a tiring day of working in front of the computer. It relaxes your muscles and by the time you are home you are all smiling through the icy wintry cold.

Being a working parent with no helper at home, we hardly have extra time for exercise or the luxury of taking a walk. So taking the opportunity to walk to office turned out to be the best option.  So now my health mantra is “a walk a day keeps all the diseases away”


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