A huge number of teachers, media personalities, writers and lawyers from all around the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are now openly criticizing the beating of students in schools. These people are now regarding such an extreme punishment as a phenomenon which will not decrease the negative behavior of the students but will, in fact, lead them to be more violent. This group of people is now voicing their opinion on the fact that this form of punishment should be completely eliminated. Nawaf Al Metwaa, a Legal Advisor has stated that striking students in the schools and any sort of physical punishment have become a widespread phenomenon in several of the Arab countries where the governments of those countries are trying hard to combat and reduce the effects of such punishment.[irp]
Here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Education has now officially directed all schools that beating and hitting the students is to be completely banned. In fact, the prohibition on physical punishment includes all forms of physical violence which include verbal and physical violence, indirect threats and also holding a waving stick. Al Metwaa further added that this matter is now in the capable hands of the teachers and educators who must follow the instructions given to them by the Ministry. He also stated that the families are also to have a major role in curbing and reducing the inappropriate behavior of the children which might provoke their teachers and prompt them to resort to threats or violence.
A female writer, Iman Al Shatri stated that hitting a student or insulting them is regardless of the way or form it was done. The teachers must act as role models for the students. A lecturer on human rights and criminal justice at the Faculty of Law at the King Abdul Aziz University, Majid Al Faisal stated that the Article 57 of the regulations which have been issued by the Ministry of Education clearly stipulates that any student may not be punished with physical beatings or any other sort of psychological or physical punishment.
The regulations which are in place regarding this particular issue have been augmented recently by establishing the child protection system which has criminalized any and all forms of abuse against children. He also stated that in article 2 of these regulations, it is stipulated that the system is aimed at protecting the children against all types of abuse, be it psychological or physical within their environment. This environment can be their neighborhood, school, home or any other public places including foster homes and social shelter houses.[irp]
Osama Nugali from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that the subject of physical beatings in the school has brought up mixed emotions and feelings from the people. A media expert, Khalid Al Khubairi has appealed to the Education Ministry to help establish other methods to control the behavior of the teachers towards the students. One of the suggestions made by him included installing cameras in the classrooms for surveillance.
Source: Arab News