The Legislature's Education and Culture Committee yesterday passed the first review of a bill to ban corporal punishment in schools. In response, the Ministry of Education and the Humanistic Education Foundation praised the move, saying that the new regulation could be seen as the best New Year gift to students nationwide.
MOE Administrative Deputy Minister Chou Tsan-the, said that the bill was in line with the MOE's position on corporal punishment. The spirit of the legislation would value students' human rights, he said.
He however added that although the new regulation bans physical punishment of students, teachers should not shrink from oral discipline, but should take responsibility to provide counseling and instruction.
Chou further noted that the ban on corporal punishment will help to promote better interaction between students and teachers.
The MOE will make sure that teachers understand the law and the penalties for breaking it, he said.
Meanwhile, the HEF, which was mainly responsible for pushing the legislation, expressed gratification at the news that it had passed committee review.
Lawmakers from across party lines supported the amendment to the Basic Education Act, added the article that bans corporal punishment in schools.
The bill has yet to pass a second and third reading before becoming law.