The Papua New Guinea government says it may bring back corporal punishment in schools because of what it says is a breakdown in discipline.
The Post Courier newspaper reports the minister for Community Development and Welfare, Andrew Mald, as saying this is shown by worsening levels of ethnic violence, killings, drug and alcohol use.
He says students aren't taking discipline seriously.
Mr Mald says one way to address this is to bring back corporal punishment so teachers are empowered to deal with problem students on the spot.
He says teachers are told they're like second parents, but they're not allowed to discipline students or bring them into line when they break the rules.
Mr Mald says the issue of discipline is made more pressing by the Government's decision to extend free education next year, which will mean teachers will have more students under their control than ever before.