A colleague I admire has shared on Facebook her experience of being a recipient of corporal punishment in school in India. A lot of comments have followed, echoing the post. I haven’t chimed in myself, but I could have. After all, I am no stranger to the topic, having gone through the South Korean schooling system.
One thing, however, that seems to set my memories apart from what’s shared in the post and comments is collective punishment. Teachers set a task, where some are bound to fail, and if anyone does fail, the entire class gets punished, usually physically.
They might have thought they were raising collective-minded citizens, but in reality, they were simply programming kids to loathe the weakest link the group. I regularly think about that giant psychological experiment we were subjected to, how the practice still prevails in schools and military bases, and how it has shaped Korean society as it is.