Posted on at


1.1 Background
Corporal punishment is the intentional infliction. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender. Corporal punishment is defined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the child as:

“Any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”

Corporal punishment may be divided into three main kinds:

Parental or domestic corporal punishment: within the family­­— typically, Children punished by parents or guardians;

School corporal punishment: within schools, when students are punished by teachers or school administrators, or, in the past, apprentices by master craftsmen;

Judicial corporal punishment: as part of a criminal sentence ordered by a court of law. Closely related is prison corporal punishment, ordered either directly by the prison authorities or by a visiting court. Corporal punishment is also still allowed in some military settings, and banned in others.

Corporal punishment of minors within domestic settings is lawful in all 50 of the United States and, according to a 2000 survey, is widely approved by parents. It has been officially outlawed in 32 countries.

Corporal punishment in school has been outlawed in many countries (Canada, Kenya, Korea, South Africa, New Zealand and nearly all of Europe except France). It remains legal in some parts of the world, including 19 states of the USA.

Judicial corporal punishment has virtually vanished from the western world but remains in force in several parts of Africa and Asia.

Since the beginning of this century, a global tendency to abolish corporal punishment has been introduced to challenge old dependence on corporal punishment as a tool for reforming children’s misbehavior (Global Report, 2008). This tendency was highly supported by the contemporary call for protecting human rights including the right in security and human treatment (articles 3 and 5, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and child rights in physical protection (Article 19, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990). Although Egypt has achieved noticeable progress in enacting many articles of the convention since signing it, research data denotes a lot of work still needs to be achieved in the sphere of child protection against violence (UNICEF, 2009).

Current policy prohibits the use of corporal punishment in school both from the teacher and the student (ministerial decree 591, 1998). The policy states that all kinds of corporal punishment applied on students are totally prohibited otherwise the teacher should be answerable legally.

Because implementation is the most important part of any policy, a policy that lacks implementation is considered useless (Bryson, 2004). Effective implementation needs that both teachers and family should be aware of current education policies to ensure transparency and accountability.

1.2 Conceptual Framework

This research study proposes some concepts relevant to the corporal punishment concept that we need to define to clarify the context in which they are supposed to be used.


1.2.1 Corporal Punishment (CP):

 It is defined as causing physical pain deliberately to change behavior that could be in the form of hitting, punching, spanking, slapping, and pinching using objects such as sticks, belts, and paddles (NASN, 2010). Geoffrey Scarre (2003) defines the word "corporal" to refer to any punishment applied on body including assault or any means that are meant to cause physical pain or humiliation. The legitimacy of corporal punishment is still a contentious issue to many societies including Egypt (SRC, 2006). From pedagogical perspective, Ritchie (1981) claimed that “corporal punishment is an assault on the dignity of individual and offensive act against the dignity of the teaching profession”. Further, McGrath (1999) proposed that corporal punishment reflects a failure on the part of the teachers.

1.2.2 Child Maltreatment and Child Abuse:

 Child maltreatment is a behavior towards another person which contains emotional and physical harm and it includes physical abuse, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect. Corporal Punishment is a kind of physical maltreatment of the children and is considered the most prevalent and accepted type of child abuse (SRC, 2006). Child abuse is the same as child 02 maltreatment except that we use the term “child maltreatment” to refer to violence acts while we use the term “child abuse” to refer to the outcome of violence acts (SRC, 2006).

1.2.3 Violence:

Violence is defined as an act carried out with the intention, or perceived intention in order to cause physical pain to another person or harm to his possessions or intervention in somebody's freedom (Nasr, 2004). Nasr states that the word "violence" is derived from the verb "to violate" which means to break privacy or exceed boundaries and implies using force also. Other than physical violence, there is also verbal violence which entails yelling, shouting, rebuking, and insulting others (Moussa & Al Ayesh, 2009).

1.2.4 Discipline:

 The process of subordinating immediate wishes, desires, impulses and interests for the sake of more effective and dependable action (Shidler, 2001). It differs from punishment in the sense that punishment is accompanied with force, pain and frustration while discipline implies training and helping the child reach required outcomes, set boundaries for behavior, and practice self-control (WHO, 2009).






















Previous research does not provide us with adequate data on corporal punishment in schools; however, the topic has been approached in Egypt from social and psychological views such as reports and publications issued by UNICEF and WHO, and from legal and policy-based approaches such as studies made by the National Center for Educational Research and the National Center for Social and Criminal research.

On a global level, research findings reveal that teachers and parents who received corporal punishment are highly likely to use it and approve of its use (Jehle, 2004). Traditionally, parents who think of corporal punishment as being the only tool for discipline are not expected to object to teachers beating their children at school (Jehle, 2004).

Other reasons for spreading corporal punishment in schools are school-based factors. Previous studies state that 96% of children are beaten in school (SRC, 2006). Since the school administration represents the main context in which corporal punishment exist, Salama finds that poor school administration and fluctuation between being too lenient with some students or too restrict with other students triggers violence among students and, in turn, raises corporal punishment rate on them to correct their behavior (Salama 2000). When the school administration deals passively with parents' complaints or disregard them, parents resort to acting violently against school teachers (SRC, 2006). Salama elaborates that the school should initiate regular communication with parents to agree on fair methods of discipline and rewarding students. On the other hand, past research indicated that schools that regularly summon parents have shown much lesser use of corporal punishment than schools which do not incorporate parents in child discipline (Guepet, 2002). The school principals are considered mediators between educational authorities and teachers; and are expected to control means of discipline used in the school (Chiang, 2009).

Another factor that clusters under the umbrella of school is the teacher. It is evident that teachers are not qualified enough to discipline students by any means other than corporal punishment (Moussa& Al Ayesh, 2009). This could be traced to the fact that corporal punishment is thought of as being the only way to maintain teachers' respect (Salama, 2000). Traditionally, teacher use it for being the most common tool to control the class because they are not trained on any other techniques during the university time nor later in the school, or they use corporal punishment for other reasons such as forcing students to take private tutoring (SRC, 2006). Apparently, teachers would not summon students' parents due to their distrust in teachers which fosters disrespect from students (SRC, 2006). Along with absence of social worker's role in school to reform students' behavior, organizing activities and caring about students' problems (Abdel Aziz, 2005), teachers are obliged to take over the responsibility of reforming students' behavior in addition to educating them (SRC, 2006).

The consequences of corporal punishment as past research work informs us, are that violence generates violence; statistics shows a positive relation between students' violent acts against teachers and other students; and corporal punishment rate they receive (Nasr, 2004). In other words, a percentage of 58% of students that are corporally punished in schools are those who reflect the highest violence rates than other students especially in public schools (Nasr, 2004). Some of violent acts that students exhibit to vent out their anger are damaging school properties, writing on walls, tearing school flyers, and beating their colleagues (Nasr, 2004). It could be inferred that although corporal punishment is used in schools with the purpose of controlling the students' behavior and discipline, data above prove that it produces an adverse effect of what it is meant to achieve particularly student’s deferral from school and failure (Shehab, 2004), school dropouts (Mansour & Khalil, 2008) & (Soliman, 2003), and damage toschool assets (Moussa& Al Ayesh, 2009). Moreover, both dismissing student from class and physically punishing them highly raises the percentage of students escaping from school before the school day finishes to reach 45% in Cairo governorate schools (Zayed& Nasr, 2004). It should be noted that corporal punishment in schools is interrelated with many other social problems that are not our main concern in this research. For example, corporal punishment in schools has a direct relation in increasing the number of street children (UNICEF, 2002). Plus, corporal punishment magnifies school dropouts which is the second major reason after poverty that augments child labor (Itani, 2009). Far from physical and social damages, corporal punishment causes psychological damages that are reflected obviously on child's self-esteem and self-confidence, and having other negative long-term personality effects (UNICEF, 2007).

In Egypt, one of the most recent successful projects launched by the Save the Children organization that was efficiently piloted in four public schools in Alexandria is the project of Community-based Child Protection Pilot Project in Alexandria which started in 2007 with the purpose of investigating, preventing, and reporting violations of child rights as stated in article 19 including erosion of corporal punishment. In this regard, the project managed to activate the role of social workers in schools, train teachers for alternative techniques for discipline, and hold sessions to parents and students to raise their awareness of child rights. The project works closely with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Family and Population. The project ended and is now in the process or renegotiation to be extended due to the minister change in 2010. Other than the prevalence of bureaucracy, Ms. Radwa El Manssy, Senior Child Protection Officer reported that the major obstacle they encounter is the budget which mainly relies on donations and external grants.

Corporal punishment was recorded as early as c. 10th Century BC in Book of Proverbs attributed to Solomon. He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes.Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod,

He shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell.

It was certainly present in classical civilization, being used in Greece, Rome, and Egypt for both judicial and educational discipline.

Besides, after you have coerced a boy with stripes, how will you treat him when he becomes a young man, to whom such terror cannot be held out, and by whom more difficult studies must be pursued? Add to these considerations, that many things unpleasant to be mentioned, and likely afterwards to cause shame, often happen to boys while being whipped, under the influence of pain or fear; and such shame enervates and depresses … scandalously unworthy men may abuse the privilege of punishing, and what opportunity also the terror of the unhappy children may sometimes afford others. (Quintilian, institutes of Oratory, 1856 edition I, III).

All over the world, many countries have successfully embarked on eliminating corporal punishment against children and specifically in schools using various strategies.





School corporal punishment, a form of corporal punishment, is given for misbehavior that involves striking the students a given number of times in a generally methodical and premeditated ceremony. The punishment is usually administered either across the buttocks or on the hands, with an implement specially kept for the purpose such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or a wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it could also include specific part of the body with the open hand, especially at the elementary school level.

Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the students is quickly back in the classroom learning, rather than being suspended from school.

Opponents believe that other disciplinary methods are equally or more effective. Some regard it as tantamount to violence or abuse.

in the United State and the United Kingdom, and generally in the English-speaking world, the use by schools of corporal punishment has historically been covered by the common law doctrine of in loco parentis, whereby a school has the same rights over a minor as its parent.

Nowadays in most places where it is allowed, corporal punishment in public school is governed by official regulation laid down by governments or local education authorities, defining such things as the implement to be used, the number of strokes that may be administered, which members of staff may carry it out, and whether parents must be informed or consulted. Depending on how narrowly the regulations are draw and how rigorously enforced, this has the effect of making the jurisdiction and of inhibiting staff from lashing out on the spur of the moment.

The first country in the world to prohibit corporal punishment was Poland in 1783.

3.1 A classroom perspective

Pakistan is the signatory of “Declaration of the rights of child 1959” and “convention on the rights of child 1989”. “The Article 19 of the convention on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan ratified in 1990, condemns all forms of physical and mental violence against the child, including injury and abuse”.

The provinces banned the corporal punishment. The NWFP government did it through, “a letter (1803-30/F. No 13/DS & 1/M&N/G: Corr: dated Dec 13, 2003) by the director of school and literacy”. (DAWN 14 January 2004 e/Edition). The Punjab and Baluchistan issued similar directives.

In Pakistan schools, physical abuse and torture is widespread. It is illegal and but not criminal. The law is objective less. The law, which cannot be a deciding factor, is hypocrisy.

The people, in favor of corporal punishment quote “section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC, 1860) [that] allows parents, teachers and other guardians to use corporal punishment as means to discipline children under 12 year old.” When cases of physical assault against child come under discussion, this piece of legislation is a handy cover. The baseline is, name physical abuse as correction “Islah” and mistreat little children.

The objective of corporal punishment is fuzzy. Ask a teacher, “Why you punish the students?” Nine out of ten times “Islah” (“correction”) is the answer. Then, as an afterthought, perhaps in remorse, they amend. A complaint statement follows. It ranges from overpopulated classes, lack of space, recreational facilities and economic condition faced in daily lives. Etc.

Corporal punishment bears psychological scars. Some develop fears of facing people and problems. It hinders the learning process. Pakistan psychological Society has recorded its adverse medical effects. “The students taught under physical abuse and torture, when grow up, they usually, get over reactive and are hard to discipline.” A senior professor told. Worst still, is a link between punishment related school dropouts and crimes.

When deemed wrong, a student’s is subject to punishment. A teacher cannot be wrong, especially, while administering punishment. He becomes always right. A student, a lesser mortal, not supposed to question his actions.

Intertwined are the school dropout rate and corporal punishment. The reasons of dropout are social and economic. The corporal punishment is the core social reason of school leaving. For young ones, it is catalyst of social evils. In fact, the slogan “Education for all” remains just a slogan.

A class is in progress, rather a monologue. At the end, a question pops up. “Understand?” A unanimous voice follows. “Yes Sir/Madam/Miss”. Who dares to question a “stick holder”? By this, one can conclude. Truth is a victim, where fear rules. When asked a teacher “why punishment, even, at the primary school level?” “I produced so many Doctors and Engineers, “He proudly announced. “What about the drop outs?” I meekly reminded. Who production of doctors and engineers.

Some argue that corporal punishment is the last resort. The analysis suggests otherwise, usually, punishment is the result of “Frustration”, either at personal or professional level. Grudge and incompetence makes it even worst.

We live in “interesting times”. Picture one: a teacher committed to apply every legal or illegal means. The sole objective is “correction” of students. Picture two: A frustrated person, unable to face the pressures around him. Then, as a catharsis, gives vent to his anger. Different sides same coin.

The punishment is immeasurable. The scale varies. The studies suggest that the students with weaker and diverse background on social, religious, cultural, caste and economic lines get more.

Some people, usually teachers, have a strange myth. “The part of body beaten up by the sticks of a teacher will not be burnt in the hell”. Perhaps, nobody knows the exact source of this saying. However, a smokescreen of myth is available.

High regards for teaching fraternity. The schoolteachers are working under economic stress and low self-esteem. In order to resurrect ego, some teachers threat, intimidate and punish the students. The rural and semi urban schools are examples. The schools elsewhere are no exception.

Sometimes, students with physical strength or quick learning abilities act as liaison between students and a teacher. They control, teach, revise lessons and punish classmates on behalf of their teacher. “Pseudo English Medium Schools” and “government schools” are examples.

The rural and semi-urban parents are unique. As a word of encouragement, they tell the teachers to punish their child, as they like. Nevertheless, make him a great person (Barra Admi). Thus, justification granted. However, the studies on runaway children and jailed individuals show that excessive punishment only produces what it is. It teaches how to hit and insult. When the pupils learn it, the society blames.

The social sector is vital. They work for children. They create awareness and help legal standardization. The beneficiary is a teacher. A teacher requires knowing, in clear terms, that he should act, within the parameters of the law and ethics.

Who is to judge, the punishment awarded and executed was fair or unfair? Is there any mechanism to stop it? For the purpose, establish punishment and abuse reporting centers.

Due to social and economic factors, physical abuse is vastly underreported. Maintain a database of press record of physical abuse committed against schoolchildren. Publish periodical report of actions taken against every individual case. Ministry of Education and UNICEF require developing an icon, insignia or a sticker. Awareness and warning sign. Make it mandatory to fix it in classrooms. It is not difficult. Particularly, when packaged withinternational grants. This sign, if not educated the teacher, will place the little children on better moral ground.

A certification program to declare the schools as physical abuse and torture free can be helpful. Develop a brand name. Appoint brand ambassador. An excellent monitoring system with governmental and UNICEF backing can make it a viable product. A structure can be evolved, initially at the national level, and then, at the international level under UNICEF.

As a concerted effort, the Ministry of Education can set child’s rights lessons in textbooks. Introduce teaching laws. For awareness, set some questions in the exams about rights of the child.

Furthermore, a request to legislators, improve the laws. Pakistan has international commitments for the right of child. Our local law is not reflecting this.

The schoolteacher is a specialist. The education sector is treating it as job for the jobless. Compromised are the qualifications, training, salaries, experience and expertise. Enhance human capital. Never compromise benchmark qualifications. It is simple, select right person, who knows his job.

As closing words, one can say, there are two distinct paths for the teachers, one of urge, interest, challenge and opportunity. The other one is of coercion, fear, intimidation and blind following. The choice is crucial.

A person who deals in the coin of fear, intimidation and coercion cannot be a teacher. A person who makes weakness of the little children a crime cannot be a teacher. A person who is the brutal killer of spontaneity, creativity and freethinking cannot be a teacher. A person who believes that teaching is convincing. Teaching is winning. Teaching is ruling on the hearts and minds of individuals you teach.

3.2 Geographical scope

Corporal punishment is prevalent in schools in most parts of the world, but in recent 10 year it has been stopped and outlawed in most of Europe and in Canada, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and many other countries (see list of countries, below). In a number of countries in Africa, south-east Asia and the Middle East (see list of countries below) it remains commonplace. In the United States, the Supreme Court ruling in Ingraham v. wright (1977) held that school corporal punishment does not violate the “Cruel and Unusual punishment” clause of the federal constitution, because that clause applies to the prison system. The Supreme Court of the United State has not yet judged the practice under other federal law orother Constitution clauses. Paddling countries to be used to a significant extent in a number of Southern states, though there has been a sharp decline in its incidence over the past 20 years.

It is still used in practice in some Asian and African countries where it has been theoretically outlawed.

Much of the traditional culture that surrounds corporal punishment in school, at any rate in the English-speaking world, derives largely from British practice in the 19th and 20th centuries, mainly from as regards the beating of teenage boys. There is a huge amount of literature on this; in both popular and serious culture.In1987 Britain itself outlawed the practice for state schools and more recently for all schools.

Many schools in Singapore and Malaysia use caning (for boys) as a routine official punishment for misconduct, as also some African countries. In some Middle countries whipping is used. In South Korea, male and female secondary students alike are commonly spanked in school.

In most of continental Europe, school corporal punishment has been banned for several decades, much longer in certain countries. As a formal deliberate ceremony, it seems to have been more common in northern/protestant countries of Germanic culture than in southern/Catholic countries of Latin culture. Caning was not completely abolished until 1967 in Denmark and 1983 in Germany.

From the 1971 revolution onwards, corporal punishment was outlawed in Russia and the Soviet Union, because it was deemed contrary to Soviet ideology. Soviet visitors to western schools would express shock at its use. Other communist and regimes followed suit: for instances, corporal punishment remains outlawed in present-day North Korea (Juche) and in mainland China. Meanwhile, communists in other countries such as Britain they took lead in campaigning against school corporal punishment, which they claimed was a symptom of the decadence of capitalist education systems.





3.3 Justification and criticism

Principle of John C. Calhoun Elementary in Calhoun Hills, South Carolina, David Nixon, a supporter of corporal punishment in schools, says that as soon as the students has been punished he can go back to his class and continue learning, [15] in contrast to out-of-school suspension, which removes him from the educational process and gives him a free “holiday”.

Philip Berrigan, a Catholic priest, who taught at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, was another supporter of corporal punishment Berrigan said that corporal punishment saved much staff times that would otherwise have been devoted to supervising detention classes or in-school suspension, and managing the bureaucracy that goes with these punishments. Parents, too, often complain about the inconvenience occasioned by penalties such as detention or Saturday school.

One argument made against corporal punishment is that some research as shown it to be not as effective as positive means for managing student behavior. These studies have linked corporal punishment to adverse physical, psychological and educational outcomes including, “increased aggressive and destructive behavior, increased disruptive classroom behavior, vandalism, poor school achievement, poor attention span, increased drop-out rate, school avoidance and school phobia, low self-esteem, anxiety, somatic complaints, depression, suicide and retaliation against teacher.” 

Medical, pediatric or psychological societies opposing school corporal punishment include: the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the royal Collage of Pediatrics and Child Health, the Royal collage of psychological Society. School corporal punishment is also opposed by the (U.S.) National Association of Secondary School principals.

The German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing suggested that a tendency to sadism and masochism may develop out of the experience of children receiving corporal punishment at school. But this was disputed by Sigmund Freud, who found that, where there was a sexual interest in beating or being beaten, it developed in early childhood, and rarely related to actual experiences of punishment.

3.4 Violence in classroom

Corporal punishment is the gravest violation of fundamental rights of the children. All children need enabling environment to grow up. On the other hand, corporal punishment badly blemish their overall.

Behavior and also hinder psychological growth. According to a UN report on cruelty against children, around 40 million children succumb to some type of violence around the world every year. It is good that modern world has finally realized that corporal punishment is adverse to children’s growth and its better that students should learn without any fear of reprisal or punishment. However, despite its devastating effects, the social acceptability and prevalence of corporal punishment in public as well as private schools is a grave danger which should be seriously pondered over by the government & the civil society and a comprehensive mechanism should be developed to provide enabling environment in schools so that child-friendly schooling could be put in.

According to the National Association of School Nurses, USA the corporal punishment is defined as “the intentional infliction of physical pain as a method of changing behavior. It may include physical hitting, slapping, rebuking, punching, kicking, shaking, use of various objects (paddles, belts, sticks, or others), or painful body postures etc.”

While the government of the Punjab has officially banned the use of any practice of corporal punishment or physical torture in schools on December 14, 2010 and the same was done by the government of Balochistan on June 16, 2010; yet, both the governments have failed to develop subsequent legal and administrative mechanisms besides training the teachers and the students about its importance.

It is interesting to note that as many as 20 Southern and Western States in the USA have laws which legally permit corporal punishment in schools even today. On the contrary, corporal punishment is strictly banned in all the European countries and Canada has also prohibited it as late as in 2004. Even in our neighboring India, where despite the fact that Supreme Court of India has officially banned the corporal punishment in schools, a 2007 study conducted by India’s Ministry of Woman and Child Welfare development, revealed that two out of three children in 13 States, remained victim of some form of torture or rebuking in their student days.












Corporal punishment in Pakistan

While corporal punishment is difficult to measure because of under-reporting, it is clearly widespread in Pakistan schools and in households. In 2004, a survey of primary schools revealed that children were subject to physical punishment in 100 per cent of schools. According to HRCP, more than 80 per cent schools in Pakistan practice corporal punishment (1995: 155).  A survey conducted in Karachi found that 87 per cent children in private schools and 91 per cent in government schools were verbally or physically abused (Jillani & Jillani 2000: 146). Some informants held the children in madras’ seing often undergo cruel punishment such as being chained or denied food for minor offences. UNICEF and save the children Sweden’s joint study on The Causes and Forms of Corporal punishment and its impact on children carried out in three districts of NWFP (Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu) identified 28 types of punishment that are inflicted at homes and 43 types at schools. Punishment at homes include caning, being with shoes, belts, wood slabs, brooms or whips, smacking, kicking, hair-pulling, ear- twisting, biting, pinching, burning, giving electric shock, pouring hot or cold water on the body, etc. At schools, punishment include slapping, kicking, caning, ear-twisting, putting the child in awkward and humiliating positions, such as the “rooster”, “aero plane” or chair, and beating with an iron rod, water pipe, electric wire, etc.. The study found that primary school-age children were punished more than the older ones, and that corporal punishment was present in both the government and the private institutions. KPK 2007 shows that harsh disciplining and beating is common in families by family elders as well as older siblings. Family members associate this type of violence with disciplining and consider it as their duty. Scolding was the most common both for girls and boys followed by beating which was much higher for boys. Confinement was another mode of disciplining. It is believed that the reasons for violating discipline for boys are loitering and watching television, not studying and not respecting their elders, and for girls, other than watching television and not respecting elders, not observing purdah, not doing household chores and playing with friends. These findings also show the gender bias in terms of social behavior. However, boys face more severe and physical punishments.

In Pakistan School corporal punishment is not very common in modern educational institutions although it is still used in schools across the rural parts of the country as a means of enforcing student discipline. The method has been criticized by some children's rights activists who claim that many cases of corporal punishment in schools have resulted in physical and mental abuse of schoolchildren. According to one report, corporal punishment is a key reason for school dropouts and subsequently, street children, in Pakistan; as many as 35,000 high school pupils in Pakistan are said to drop out of the education system each year because they have been punished or abused in school.

 4.1Pakistan has highest school dropout rate in world due to punishment

Pakistan has one of the highest school dropout rates in the world, due to corporal punishment. Beatings at school are considered culturally acceptable to ensure obedience, and legislation banning this practice is hence poorly implemented. According to a NGO advocating the right of children, 35,000 high school pupils in Pakistan drop out of the education system each year due to corporal punishment. Such beatings at schools are also responsible for one of the highest dropout rates in the world, which stands at 50 percent during the first five years of education. It is said that culturally accepted from of child abuse also contributed to the high dropout rate among children and the fact that 70,000 street children were present in the country. Yet, despite growing awareness regarding the issue, many school teachers remain convinced that some degree of corporal punishment is necessary to instruct children. “The teacher needs to ensure obedience and ensure children receiver proper guidance. For this an occasional light beating or other physical admonishment is necessary,” Abdul Akbar, 40, who teaches at a boy’s private school at Hayatabad, told The Frontier Post. The government of the NWFP had banned corporal punishment in primary schools in 1999. A year later, the governments of Baluchistan and Punjab issued directives to all teachers not to use corporal punishment on children, and followed up with disciplinary action against three teachers. The Sindh government also issued similar orders in 2007.but the fact is that, despite a campaign at government level and awareness-raising efforts by NGOs, the directives remain poorly implemented. Most children at schools across the country, both girls and boys, are beaten. “The law, as it exists now, permits parents or guardians, including teachers, to beat a child in “good intent”. This prevented police from acting on complaints of physical abuse. It is also a matter of attitude. Teachers say they need to beat children to teach them, but there is a need to educate teachers and pupils about child rights. In 2005, the UN Children’s fund (UNICEF) with save the children and the Pakistan government conducted the first in-depth survey to determine how many children were subjected to corporal punishment. All 3,582 children interviewed said they had been beaten at school. Seven percent said they had suffered serious injury as a consequence. It is widely believed the situation is even worse at the hundreds of unregulated seminary schools, or ‘madrasas’, scattered across Pakistan. The Pakistan Pediatric Association found last year that over 88 percent of school-going children surveyed reported suffering physical abuse. Experts believe inadequate teacher training, the lack of legislation banning corporal punishment and the perception that it must be used to teach children, are all factors behind the widespread existence of corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment is the main cause of dropouts at the government primary schools. She said Pakistan’s literacy rate is 50 percent and according to National Education Policy, Pakistan is ranked at 31 out of 35 countries in the Muslim world and 134th out of 180 countries.

In Pakistan about 25 percent children are never enrolled in primary schools and 50 percent of the enrolled leave schools before completing primary education, an abnormal dropout rate of 50 percent must be a cause of concern for the civil society, policymakers and the teaching community of Pakistan, “she added. She said education of 3.8 million illiterate children through remedial education system may bring down the number of school dropouts considerably in the next 10 years. She lamented that high dropout rate has been identified as one of the major contributing factors to a dismal state of education sector in Pakistan. According to her, corporal punishment was resulting in high dropout rate in schools, especially those being run by the government. She said it was obvious that not every child could cope with his class fellows due to many genuine reasons including mental incapacity to learn and understand easily.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there is b ban on corporal punishment, but it seems that it is not effective like many other laws, and people are not taking it seriously. According to the news report, the child has received serious injury to his eye and what is not reported is that this incident will leave his soul injured for a lifetime. The fact that a brilliant student is afraid to go to school because of fear of corporal punishment explains why student’s dropout ratio is increasing. This is not the first case of its kind as every other day such incidents are happening in many schools all over Pakistan.

It is a tragedy that, on the one hand, we regret having fewer schools and, on the other, schools which are functional are discouraging children through corporal punishment

.In July 2010 Dawn reported that there were 22,398 functional primary schools across the province but still Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was short of about 20,000 primary schools to implement the government policy of setting up a school within a radius of one-and-a-half two kilometers.

A baseline survey on the prevalence of corporal punishment conducted by the Society for the Protection of rights of Child revealed that 33 percent parents consider corporal punishment the main cause of dropout from also suggested that despite teacher’s qualifications and numerous training sessions on alternatives to corporal punishment, the majority of teachers believed in the effectiveness of mind to moderate punishment.

4.2 The adverse effect of Corporal Punishment awarded to students

Violence is an acceptable way of dealing with issues. Corporal punishment does not teach children the reason why their behavior was wrong. Corporal punishment teaches children that it is okay to use violence against someone you love. Corporal punishment can affect self-esteem by making the victim feel scared, sad, ashamed or worthless. Corporal punishment makes children more aggressive towards other children. Corporal punishment can destroy the relationship between a child and the child’s parents or caregiver.

With regard to the consequences or outcome of using corporal punishment, most of the students asserted that they never respected teachers who beat them (figure 19). This contradicts the traditional assumption that CP maintains the teacher's respect.

Far from physical and social damages, corporal punishment causes psychological damages that are reflected obviously on child's self-esteem and self-confidence, and having other negative long-term personality effects (UNICEF, 2007).

Regarding the impact of CP on correcting students' misbehavior, most of parents (public) and most of parent (private) disagreed that it corrected their children misbehavior.

Corporal punishment can turn into serious physical abuse. Children who are exposed to violence are more likely to be violent as adults. Corporal punishment teaches children that violence is an acceptable way of dealing with issues. Corporal punishment does not teach children the reason why their behavior was wrong. Corporal punishment teaches children that it is okay to use violence against someone you love. Corporal punishment can affect self-esteem by making the victim feel scared, sad, ashamed or worthless Corporal punishment makes children more aggressive towards other children. Corporal punishment can destroy the relationship between a child and the child’s parents or caregiver.

4.3 Classrooms need to be child-friendly

The key to avoid misbehavior by children is to make classrooms child-friendly. Class time must be utilized constructively. Children must not get idle time, for this is when they make mischief. A tool-kit was prepared to provide teachers with alternatives. This includes comprehensive tips for child-friendly classrooms. Some of the suggestions include setting up a complaint box for children.

It even includes the map of a child-friendly classroom, which comprises a class library with reading and math activity areas, apart from desks and chairs.

In a letter to Barack Obama, Alice miller, author of Banished Knowledge, a book on the psychological implications of corporal punishment on children, wrote, “spanking creates fear. In a state of fear children’s attention is totally absorbed by the strategy of surviving. As they (children) learn from imitation they learn from us violence and hypocrisy. They will obey at first but in the long run they may choose to lie to avoid the next punishment”.






















There have been big changes in the attitude of most parents over the last few years. Very few parents would agree with using force regularly as a way of dealing with discipline problems in their children. Physical punishment is banned in schools in most countries, and in many countries, there are moves to ban all corporal punishment of children even in the home. However, many parents still believe that they have a right to use some physical punishment to deal with certain misbehavior at certain ages. This essay will ask if some physical punishment is acceptable today, and will ask how parents can know what the limits are.

It is easy to find reasons to allow some physical punishment. One issue is that many parents find it very difficult to abandon physical punishment completely. Parents argue that this was the way they were brought up themselves and that it didn’t do any harm to them. They believe that for the child’s sake that they have the right to discipline the child in any way they see fit, including using corporal punishment. A second point is that corporal punishment can be quick and effective: there is not much point reasoning with a screaming child in the supermarket. Finally, most parents are reasonable and fair, and very few would ever consider hurting their children by using u necessary physical force.

There are several reasons however why we should stop using physical punishment even in the home. One point is that most parents are not trained to deal with misbehaving children. The do not have enough resources or choices to handle the situation. As a result, they immediately react by smacking or hitting the child, even if there is other solution to the problem. Another point is that unless people are challenged or forced to change their beliefs they may keep following negative habits. An example is seatbelt use-now most people wear seat belts without thinking, whereas years ago the idea of using safety belts was strange to most people. In the same way, banning physical punishment in the home will allow people to change their habits and break a cycle of violence. However, the e most obvious reason for banning all physical punishment of children is to prevent child abuse. If all parents will go too far and will inflict severe emotional and physical damage on their children. It may only be a small minority of parents, but we need to protect all our children.

In conclusion, parents have to change some of their beliefs and ideas about how children should be raised. It is possible to avoid the use of physical force in the home, and doings so will helps us move closer to dream or removing violence from our society.














Abdel Aziz, Safia (2005): National Criminal Magazine, Volume 2

Brown, Colin (25 March 1998). “Away”. The independent (London).

Bryson, John M. (2004): “Strategic Planning For Public And Non-Profit Organizations”

Chandos, John (1984). Boys Together: English Public Schools 1800-1864. London: Hutchinson , esp. chapter 11.ISBN 0-09-139240-3

Chiang, Yi-Ching (2009): “Taiwan’s Ban on Corporal Punishment - Teachers’ Perceptions of Impact and Meanings”

Convention on the Rights of the Child, (1990), Article 19.

Daily Mail (London). 22 November 1960. “Caning? It’s not cricket, say the Russians at Rugby”.


Global Report (2008). “Ending Legalized Violence Against Children” 

Globe and Mail, Toronto, 23 July 1971. “Toronto abolishes the strap”.

Gould, mark (9 January 2007). “Sparing the rod”. The Guardian (London).

Guepet, Sharon (2002): “Parental Contact and Student Discipline in the Classroom Setting”

Itani, Nadia (2009): “Child Labor in Egypt”

Mansour, Albert L. & Khalil, Mufid H. (2008). "Research on Social, Educational, Economic reasons for Students Dropping off Schools in Haggana" p. 53

Ministerial Decree no. 591/1998, Prohibiting Violence in Schools.

Moussa, Rashad & Al Ayesh, Zeinab (2009): “Psychology of Violence against Children”.

Nasr, Sameha (2004): "Violence among Students in School, Some Psychological Variables" issued by The National Center for Social and Criminal research.

National Association of School Nurses (NASN), (2010): "Corporal Punishment in Schools" URL:

Quigley, Isabel (1984). The Heirs of Tom Brown: The English School Story. Oxford University Press. ISBN o-19-281404-4.

Radio Free Asia. 21 March 2007. “North Korean Defectors Face Huge Challenges”.

Salama, Mohamed Tawfik (2000): “Violence in Secondary Schools in Egypt”

Scarre, Geoffrey (2003). "Ethical Theory and Moral Practice" , Vol. 6, No. 3 (Sep., 2003), pp. 295-316, URL:

See e.g. student/parent Information Guide and Code of Conduct 2008-2009, Alexander City Schools, Alabama, USA, p.44.

Shehab, Mae (2004): “Study on School Failure and Dropout in Primary Schools”

Shidler, L. (2001). “Teacher-sanctioned violence”. Childhood Education, 77, 167.

Social Research Center (2006): “Towards Policies for Child Protection: A Field Study to Assess Child Abuse in Deprived Communities in Cairo and Alexandria”

Soliman, Saeed (2003): “Study on School Dropouts in Prep. Schools”

Teitelbaum, Salomon M. (December 1945). “Parents Authority in the Soviet Union”, in American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 4, No. ¾ pp. 54-69.

The News

UNICEF (2007): “Violence against Children Study in Jordan”

UNICEF (2009): “Annual Report”

United Kingdom: corporal punishment in school at World Corporal Punishment Research.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (1948), Articles 3 & 5.

Wasef, N,H,  (2011): “Corporal Punishment in Schools”. The American University in Cairo (AUC).

WHO (2009): “The Universal Report on Prevention of Child Injuries”

World Corporal Punishment Research. “External links to present-day school handbooks”.

Zayed, Ahmed (2007): National Criminal Magazine, Volume no. 3