Regimentation and Discipline

I like the concept of school uniform in Indian schools. It promotes equity and fairness. Even though countries like the US don’t have school uniforms, British schools have continued the tradition. However, most British schools are no longer into the regimentation of children in the name of discipline. Indian school system, however, fails to differentiate between disciplining and regimentation many a times. Schools are very particular (even picky) about children’s haircut and assiduously check if girls have tied their hair. They ensure that little girls don’t wear bangles, don’t apply Mehendi or nail paint. Even when applying Mehendi or wearing bangles is part of their culture and festivals, it is labeled as “against the school rules” and a disciplinary action is taken. Children are shamed or humiliated for doing these trivial things (even though corporal punishments are no longer given, at least in cities).

Discipline is teaching and the goal of disciplining is to teach self-discipline in the long run. Punishing a child for petty things does not work. It may temporarily stop the (so called) negligent behavior, but in the long run children don’t learn to follow rules. No wonder our country is full of adults who have no respect for any rules, laws or civic sense what so ever.  As children, they were forced, dominated and controlled to follow rules. They adhered to it to avoid punishments and embarrassment. They were never disciplined which comes from within. Hence, they learned “not to get caught” rather than developing their own internal standards.

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