Corporal punishment as a solution rejected
The Director of Catholic Education, Aeau Chris Hazelman, does not agree that corporal punishment will solve the ongoing issue of violence among schools.
Instead, he believes discipline is the key.
Besides a law that prohibits corporal punishment has already being passed by Parliament, Aeau pointed out.
Which means that should any teacher lay a hand on a student, they are immediately breaking that law.
Aeau said many teachers do not support the law and he can understand why.
But he urged teachers to be patient in their dealings with students and in their efforts to change attitudes and mindsets.
Aeau hailed the work of teachers in Samoa, saying it is not an easy job.
Speaking about the recent spate of fights among some colleges, Aeau defended the role of teachers who put their lives at risk to protect the students.
“They were there, it’s their love for the students and the parents but what they did is not part of their job description,” said Aeau.
“I take my hat off to those teachers who have taken their time to come down and to make sure that the children get home safely.”
Principal of Avele College, Matafeo Lesaisaea Reupena, also disagrees with corporal punishment. Matafeo said his father didn’t beat him up when he was in school but he did well in school. “I don’t think beating up the students will work,” said Matafeo.
“Once the parents neglect their duty as parents to their children, that’s where we are having the problem.”
Matafeo said parents should build a strong relationship with their children by spending time with them. Evening prayers and family discussions are critical, he said.