19 July 2011

Local Wisdom Again- "Don't touch other people's children"

In the Dusun culture, beating a child as a form of disciplining is allowed, but only as a last resort. But even when beating is done, there is a rule as to who can beat the child and who can't. Most people would expect it to be the parents' responsibility, although I've also seen other family members who are 'higher in rank' (older brothers, uncles, aunties) who did that. But NEVER an outsider.

So was it a wonder that there is always a mixed-reaction when a teacher in school resorts to beating in order to discipline a pupil? On one hand, it is okay to some parents as perhaps to them the rank of the teacher is equal to 'family members'. On the other hand, this is a no-no to some parents, because touching others' children is unheard of in the community.

In fact I was reading Tuaran Adat and Dusun Custom of Putatan District the other day, and discovered that somebody who beats somebody else's child has to pay sogit in the form of animal to the child's parents. Something that requires a sogit is indeed a serious thing in the community. Upon reflection, I think it is a very wise thing indeed. Let each family discipline theirs.


Gunaqz said...

Hi Verone,
I agree with you on this one. When I was still a teacher, I had a long ruler or a cane with me all the time. But I never used it to 'punish' my pupils, only to point on my writing board and also as a 'message' to my pupils that I DO have a rotan; dare not messing up with me. It actually worked :-)

Some parents came to me personally and said funny things like 'rotan saja anak saya kalau dia jajal dan tidak bikin kerja. Asal jangan ada bagas', or 'cubit saja dia ini, memang jajal ini budak. kasi takut dia sikit'. Tapi sepanjang 5 tahun saya mengajar, saya tidak berani buat. Paling-paling pun saya kasi tinggi suara n kasi bulat-bulat tu mata. Lepas tu rasa menyesal kerana menakutkan budak n saya ajak tu budak pigi kantin, minum oren kasi sejuk2 hati dia sambil reasoning sikit-sikit.

N of course, sia minta maaf sama dia. Walaupun posisi saya seorang guru tapi budak juga ada perasaan. Lagipun dia anak orang, mana lah bah bagus kasi marah-marah anak orang kan? Lain lah kalau anak sendiri (like my parents used to do, di sekolah pun kasi marah saja saya macam di rumah. bikin malu betul. he he)

Small Kucing said...

best is each family discipline own kids. No dispute.

Tina said...

I didn't know this adat existed. But it's a wise one especially if parents really take the responsibility of making their kids toe the line and respect everyone in their school, other students included.

I've had parents told me to 'rotan saja dia cikgu kalu tidak dengar' but although I always had a rotan (like Gunaqz) it was never for hitting kids. I've seen how other teachers rotan their students and it frightened me and made me sick.

azamain said...

Really ? We can feast on the sogit, I guess, since a lot of canings were already recorded.....:)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi, agreed. But sometimes parents fail to do their duty, their love blinds them to their children's misbehaviour.
My school days it would be the school principal who will do the beating....

A microphone is placed nearby on a table, the boy who was caught stealing or done something very serious would get 3 to 5 strokes of the rattan.
The PA system in every class was turned on....and everyone would rise on their seats slightly at the loud 'TWAAACK' of the cane hitting his backside.

Discipline must follow love where children are concerned.
Have a nice weekend.