Through out the year we have tried to be very positive and upbeat about our lives in Bhutan and generally that is not a struggle. It is a great place to live and travel and even work. However I do not feel I can end this first year, without airing my concerns about one very hot educational issue: discipline.
For me the greatest cause of concern at school has been discipline. Student behaviour problems are often discussed as having risen directly from them knowing their rights! And teachers routinely lament corporal punishment having been prohibited. I have been shocked, depressed and angered by the level of violence I have seen; not heard about from students but directly observed.
In October an article by a training teacher who had recently completed teaching practice once again outlined the horrors of the so-called "positive discipline" method currently employed and proposed returning to corporal punishment as a viable and necessary way to improve students' behaviour. This so enraged me that I wrote an article and sent it to Kuensel, one of the local newspapers. To my delight it was published on October 31st only a few days after I had sent it. Kuensel actually gave it the title, not me, by the way. Many of you may have already read it but it can be found at the link below if you are interested.
kuenselonline » Blog Archive » Positive discipline is enlightened punishment