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Today a young girl , a student of mine, 13 years old, came up to me to ask about the law on teachers hitting students. I told her that it is in fact always illegal. She told me that when she didn’t bring her homework on Monday morning that her teacher hit her 20 times with a cane. She also said that another teacher hit her on the face with a cane when she didn’t “wai” or show respect to the teacher. I told her to tell her mom and dad that it is illegal for the teachers to hit. She told me that her parents hit her too and wouldn’t help her. It is days like this …

In another class, I told them what the girl had told me and they said that yes, this kind of thing happened to them too. One girl told me that the TV commentary always complains about how students must maintain order and they don’t know how to control themselves, therefore they need to be hit with a cane.  

A boy in another class told me that sometimes his teacher hit him 30 times or more when he didn’t bring his homework.A Canadian kid who was caught with drugs in Singapore was sentenced to 3 lashes with a cane. Three. These kids at my school are suffering 20-30 lashes for not bringing a piece of paper with their scribbles.

I should also note that the teachers who are demanding this kind of abusive regime from the students mostly flat out suck rotten eggs as teachers. The exam grades are outright appalling. The English test from my co-teacher resulted in an 80% failure rate. Another teacher from England reviewed the test from his co-teacher and found that about 2/3 of the questions were unanswerable, that there was more than one correct answer or no correct answer at all.  That teacher from England told me that the kids can’t win. They are in something like a work camp or a detention center or a re-education camp – not a school in the regular sense.

I told some of my students that it seems like the purpose of their “education” is to learn how to sit down, form nice orderly lines and shut up. That’s all. Everything else is just window dressing. Those students who “can’t control themselves” actually means that they don’t want or haven’t learned to take orders from incompetent half-wits and fools.  

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