School Guide

Discipline in Chinese Schools: Caning and Strict Timetables?

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jan 30, 2015, 04:42 AM


There is a common belief that rule enforcement in a Chinese school is more strict and at higher levels of discipline. Some parents conjure images of scowling teachers walking around with cane in hand, ready to strike at students who fail to recite their multiplication tables.While some parents may reflect on this style as 'military', many other parents are reportedly okay with this type of strict discipline."At home I also make sure I explain to my children why I am caning them and what they have done wrong.”"As long as the caning is done properly, not in anger and without causing harm to the children, it is all right because it's a good way of instilling discipline.""I'm fine with it as long as the child is caned with good reason, and the punishment isn't excessive."classroom-floor_600x400Parents who are against corporal punishment have their own opinion about this issue:“I find that teachers are more prone to caning boys rather than girls.”My son was being caned because he kept scoring Cs for Mathematics. I found this to be unnecessarily harsh, and it didn't help to improve his grades.”There are studies where there are long-term harms connected to corporal punishment!”However, many parents are now reporting that Chinese schools are abandoning the cane for a more heart-to-heart style of discipline (counselling etc)“If my daughter had good reason for not handing in work, the teacher understands and gives her extra time to finish it.”The teachers carry the cane only for show, it's tradition.”There are many kinds of teachers, some kind and playful while some just look scary but are actually cheerful and funny.”

School Hours

chinese_school_600x400In Chinese schools, academic hours are usually from 7.25am until 1.25pm and a majority of schools offer optional after school tuition up to 3.30pm or even night classes.A comparison of sample timetables between different types of primary schools:

Chinese School

National School

Private School







Mandarin5 hoursMandarin (elective)1.5 hoursVisual Art1 hour
B. Malaysia4.5 hoursB. Malaysia6 hoursB. Malaysia6 hours
English1 hourEnglish5 hoursSpeech and Drama1 hour
Math in English2 hoursMath3 hoursScience1 hour
Math in Mandarin3 hoursScience and Technology1 hourScience in English1 hour
Science in English1.5 hoursMoral or Religious Studies3 hoursScience in Mandarin3.5 hours
Science in Mandarin1.5 hoursIT1 hourMoral or Religious Studies2 hours
Moral or Religious Studies2 hoursGym½ hourMath3 hours
IT1 hourMusic½ hourIT1 hour
Gym1 hourArt1 hourSPA2*1 hour
Music1 hourNILAM1*1.5 hoursCCA3*2 hours
Art1 hour

1* Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Campaign to Encourage Reading as a Habit)2* Structured Performance Art (lesssons on violin, piano, etc)3* Curriculum Activities (Divided into Clubs & Societes and Sports & Games)chineseschool_600x400As you can see, there is not a lot of difference between school hours for Chinese, government and private schools. If the school is very academic with lots of homework, you can balance it at home with more play and relaxation. Children are very adaptable as long as parents are ready to be by their side and provide support and encouragement.Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and receive updates and consultation on all matters related to Private and International schools in Malaysia.

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