Curio Critique # 19: Corporal Punishment

Curio Critique # 18:Girls’ schools in apartheid South Africa
July 16, 2017
Curio Critique #20: Humour in Education
July 17, 2017
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Sl. No. Curio Book Title Year of Publication
19 Travancore Education Code 1913

Curio Book

The Committee on the Rights of the Child ... defines ‘corporal’ or ‘physical’ punishment :
“any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. Most involves hitting (“smacking”, “slapping”, “spanking”) children, with the hand or with an implement ……. In the view of the Committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading.”

Curio reference

Christian educationists used to draw on Proverbs 13:24
Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

So, it is not surprising to find an endorsement of corporal punishment in Section 86. of the Travancore Education Code published during the British rule in India.

Related references

One hundred years later, FAQ 44 on physical harassment related to The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Kerala Rules 2010 reads: ...As per Circular No. 16993 dated 23rd September 2010 of the Director of Public Instruction, Government of Kerala, corporal punishment in schools is prohibited.(P 18)


There is an old fashioned saying: “spare the rod and spoil the child” which was popular across the globe. So images of students in a martial arts school China in who received corporal punishment should not appear shocking. Please view:
In 2015, T. Ramavarma began his Times of India report on the use of bamboo canes in schools in Kochi thus: In stationery shops there is one item as much in demand as schoolbags, textbooks and umbrellas- brightly coloured canes of varying thickness, and shopkeepers smile knowingly when the customers, often school officials, prefer the thinner, whip-like ones.


Colin Dunne in 2013 published an article in the Daily Mail praising the headmaster of his school, M.L.Forster.
The following is an extract :

For 20 years, he took grubby little Yorkshire lads and turned them into young men who were well- educated and even semi-civilised, whether they liked it or not. By the thousand. He achieved this with a combination of charm, wit, high intelligence, blazing charisma and a personality that would stop a tank. Plus, of course, his cane.
He ruled not so much with a rod of iron as with a rod of whistling bamboo... To this day, you will find countless elderly people who swear their lives were vastly enhanced by his early influence. Me among them..


Curio Quest Should we have a re-look at the necessity of corporal punishment in schools?

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