I blogged earlier about South Korea banning corporal punishment recently and the sudden upsurge in assaults on teachers and bullying amonst students. According to a teacher, “the troublesome students find the new ban as a godsend.”
Hilariously, the Ministry of Education had to come up with alternatives in January which included doing push-ups and running laps!
The ministry was responding to widespread complaints from teachers that students were running riot since corporal punishment was banned in Seoul in November. Teachers argued that physical punishments were widely considered an effective means of disciplining students in schools.
Under the guidelines, teachers are permitted to discipline students by ordering them to do push-ups, stand in the back of the classroom, or run or walk a few laps around the school playground. Teachers will be permitted to suspend students from school for up to ten days, with a maximum suspension of 30 days a year. Suspended students will receive counseling from education experts. If a student keeps misbehaving after 30 days of suspension, the ministry will allow teachers to summon parents to school for counseling.
Of course, in the past, the misbehaviour would have been dealt with in 5 minutes. Now it can take up to 30 days!! As expected, the liberals immediately criticised the guidelines of press-ups and running laps, saying
The push-ups suggested by the ministry will inflict physical pain on students, and it isn’t allowed by the Seoul Office of Education
The latest report shows that teachers have lost control and say students now have the upper hand
This has led to an increase in disruptions, and students are openly – and unabashedly – questioning and challenging their teachers. In some cases, even top-performing students who had long been the teacher’s pet have been acting up as well, convinced by their fellow classmates to take advantage of the regulation governing student human rights. Teachers say they are literally powerless to stop disruptions and deal with misbehaving students, arguing that the course of action allowed is to make them sit down or talk with them.
Welcome to a typical New Zealand classroom. To our friends in Seoul, it will only get worse!