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Corporal punishment to kids must stop

Wednesday - September 12, 2018 11:59 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

WTN- Hearing a two decade old case, the Supreme Court recently awarded one year in jail and a fine of Rs 50,000 to a teacher who had thrashed a Class 2 student way back in 1996 in Karnataka.

As a result of the thrashing, the child subsequently lost his vision following a couple of operations to heal the injury caused by the stick of the teacher. The fault of the student was that he was not in school shoes for some reason.

Corporal punishment is schools is still an unfortunate reality in India. Everyday new cases of harsh punishment to kids for petty reasons come in the news. Not many of them are even reported. There are lakhs of schools, big and small, in the nooks and crannies of the country, often run by people with little knowledge of education, where beating is a normal practice with no one to monitor their activities. Most schools are run by the power of money or muscle, by people well ‘connected’, which makes them immune to scrutiny or criticism.

Children are at the mercy of teachers in school. It is like their second home and teachers are supposed to be as caring as parents. Is beating the only way to discipline kids?  Certainly it comes the easiest to a teacher to pick the stick to hit someone, but it only proves his inability to devise better ways of teaching and controlling students. Beating exposes the savagery inherent in the teacher which his education and experience have not been able to soften and civilise.  It is always easy to unleash the beast out but the job of education is to teach how to tame that beast inside. If a teacher is not able to control his own temper, he is not fit to teach and lead students. 

Students learn by example. Corporal punishment is not only injurious to physical health but also mental health. Students will imbibe the attitude and temper of the teacher and use it at home or on juniors. Beating breeds violence and is psychologically damaging.

The courts have time and again ordered stopping of corporal punishment but tracking and reporting is never easy. School administrations suppress things for fear of defamation. Unless some grave injury happens or the parents are too strong and willing to drag the school to court, things get relegated and forgotten. We all know teachers have their problems.

hey are ill paid, overloaded with work and often disrespected by the students and management alike. It gets unmanageable to control a class of 50-60 students by one teacher. School authorities task them with maintaining utmost discipline in students by whatever means. This puts pressure on them to perform and show. But, even knowing all the facts we have to be critical of teachers beating up students. Albeit school authorities too should be more responsible and supportive of the teacher but it is ultimately the skill and acumen of the teacher that count.

A person who wants to be a teacher must prepare himself well for it by studying the pros and cons beforehand. It is a challenging job and one must be up to the task. Children are sensitive minds and they must not be thrashed, come what may. There are a million ways to punish and reprimand but beating is not one of them.  Teachers need to understand child psychology and innovate novel ways to handle their mischief. They must realise that they are not policemen or army men training a regiment of young recruits. They are giving shape and direction to strengthen nascent fragile souls. They have to be delicate and deft in their approach like a caring mother!



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