The rise in discipline problems among students has been related to the lack of respect students have for teachers. This disrespect appears to be linked to the ban on caning byc lass teachers. Hence, there has been a call to put the cane back in the teacher's hand to Instill discipline.

Is it through the fear of caning that students will learn discipline ? Can the cane create asense of respect for the teacher and the school authority ?

Caning can be a powerful deterrent to misbehavior. Contrary to popular belief, caning does not scar a child or youngster psychologically unless the punishment meted out Is unjust or too severe. However, would teachers who are confronted by an onslaught of disobedience, rudeness and disrespect still be able to act rationally ? The number of casesin which teachers misused their power have caught much attention. These are teachers who resort to caning as a way to control students. No improvement in the student's behavior results in increased and more severe punishment until the punishment can rightfully be termed child abuse. it is often the teachers' mood that determines the severity of the caning. Caning in other words has become a means to release the teachers' frustration and anger. This is an abuse of power.

Teachers cannot expect to be respected by their students just because they have been given the power to cane. Respect is not gained through the power of the cane, but by a mutual understanding through a close student-teacher relationship. If a teacher carries out this responsibility well and fairly, and is able to show love and concern, he will be admired and respected. When such a teacher canes a student, the student will realize thatis is because the teacher cares. Not only will he regret his misbehavior, but he will respect the teacher.

The role of parents in training their children to be courteous and to respect adults, must not be overlooked. How many parents these days respect their children's teachers ? On top of that, many parents have become over protective. Under such circumstances, how then do we expect students to respect their teachers ?

There is no doubt that caning is useful in changing behavior if it is properly implemented. However, it should not be seen as panacea for disrespect for teachers and indiscipline in schools. Misbehavior of students is not solely caused by the fact that teachers are banned from using the cane. Therefore empowering teachers to cane naughty children will not solve the problems. Parents, teachers and those in authority should look at the root the problems and work from there.