Members of several civic groups devoted to education reforms urged lawmakers yesterday to include a clause supporting "zero tolerance of physical punishment of children" in the Education Basic Law.
The members made the call one day before the Legislative Yuan's Education and Culture Committee is set to review draft amendments to the law.
Shih Ying (史英), a leading member of the Humanistic Education Foundation, said giving up physical punishment does not mean giving up on disciplining children.
Instead, the purpose of banning physical punishment is to encourage teachers to make more effort on education and to think how to educate children with more reasonable and efficient methods, Shih said.
Huang Yu-chi from the Parents Society of Overseas Students argued that physical punishment is violence and that a civilized country should not allow violence in education.
According to data from the Humanistic Education Foundation, 101 countries around the world have banned physical punishment of children in school, and more than 20 have implemented a comprehensive ban on physical punishment.
In Taiwan, more than 90 civic organizations, 60 academics led by Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), and 21 local government heads led by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) have signed to support the campaign to end physical punishment.