Violence in schools has become the most problematic issue education faces today. School violence is a global phenomenon and it is not only present in South African schools. Violence has increased and the severity thereof is constantly rising in South African schools. The question is raised on how the increasing violence in schools can be stopped. Corporal punishment was used as a way to discipline children, however, it was abolished. In the following essay, the alternatives to corporal punishment that can solve the problem of school violence in South Africa will be discussed.
2. Rewards Systems instilling self-discipline in students
Students have become violent and others are stubborn and do not listen when spoken to. In many cases, educators do not even get to the work that was planned for that class due the disruptions in class. This can be stressful for educators. In order to stimulate a learning and good attitude in learners towards the educators and the academic work, a rewards system should be integrated in classes. (Guyana (2016) states, “An effective behavior modification system within the classroom often includes rewards.”) Reward systems have their advantages, but some educators are not big fans of constantly rewarding students. With every advantage, there is a disadvantage of the reward system.
When students are rewarded for either something of their own effort or because of another reason they conform to good behavior or behavior acceptable in their educator’s eyes. Thus, students will show interest and increase their participation in academic-related activities, responsibilities and studying. With students obtaining rewards, they become more self-confident. In the end this leads to more students studying for tests and exams which results in better marks; this not only makes the learner feel good about his/herself but also boosts self-esteem.
3. The demerit system establishes good behavior
The demerit system is a plan which specifically focuses on the behavior of the students and learners. All along merit and demerit points were recorded on paper which caused a problem for educators as they could not keep track of the precise points of learners. The problem of learners getting away with not being disciplined kept rising. (Omar (2017), states “Discipline means teaching acceptable behaviors and unlearning maladaptive behaviors with support, guidance and direction in managing behaviour,”) Accumulating a certain amount of points meant that the learner would be punished according to the severity of the learner’s act. The demerit system can solve the problem of violence in schools as students will get punished. This will result in students making the right choices related to their studies.
Students who are constantly getting themselves into trouble or are instigators thereof will be reprimanded accordingly. A punishment will result in students not wanting to cross the line and gain demerits. Otherwise, there will be a consequence for their actions.( Koh Teng Gee (2009) states, “There is no problem in the demerit as there already existed since the 1980s. All the school needs to do is to award negative points to each and every disciplinary problem in the list.” ) The demerit system encourages good behavior and discourages disrespect.
4. Counselling helps find the underlying problem
Constant conversing with a counselor or anyone for the matter helps to find and solve any problem a person is facing. Even if learners go to an educator is does not necessarily mean they will get the help or answers they need. (Burton (2019) states, “ I don’t think teachers are necessarily equipped to recognize identifiers of violence or where children might be more vulnerable to victimization. They might have difficulty recognizing antisocial behavior. Where those behaviors are identified, the response is usually punitive (punishment) that often serve to exclude the child more rather than actually treating underlying symptoms.” ) Going to a counselor will help students resolve personal and interpersonal problems. This will create a support structure for the student, where the student feels comfortable to speak about things he/her is feeling or not happy with.
(Acme Themes (2019) states, “School counselors provide a lot of support to teachers by completing a team that can effectively address the educational goals and needs of students, leading to an increase in student achievements.”) As students get counseling, it benefits them in their personal lives with skills and attributes that they gain with counseling, also it benefits educators as they are able to aid the student in achieving academic success due to the advice given to them by the counselor. Firstly, learners communication skills increase. Due to constantly talking to a person who is there to help, the counselor is able to find the underlying problem to the acts of violence. After that the necessary courses will be taken to help the student and reduce damage caused to other students. Counseling is there entirely for the social well-being of the student
Acts of violence are present worldwide in schools. It is the duty of fellow South Africans to help find solutions to the rising violence in our schools. There are ways to reduce violence in schools and alternatives to using violence to stop violence. The alternatives to corporal punishment stated in the essay are certainly ways to reduce violence in our schools. South Africans need to take a stand and fight violence in our schools.