New Delhi: Schools should constitute special monitoring cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children, according to guidelines unveiled by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
(NCPCR) on Monday to eliminate corporal punishment.
The guidelines suggest that Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) should hear grievances related to corporal punishment, child sexual abuse, mental harassment and discrimination without any delay and should forward
recommendations to district level authorities within 48 hours of the occurrence.
The NCPCR`s "Guidelines for eliminating corporal punishment in schools" also suggest a number of measures for affirmative action in schools for positive engagement with children.
They suggest that school teachers should provide a written undertaking stating that they would not engage in any action that could be construed as amounting to physical punishment, mental harassment or discrimination.
Another novel idea suggested by NCPCR is for schools to have annual social audits of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination. The guidelines suggest that results of the audit should be made public before start of every new academic year.
The guidelines advocate that an environment free of corporal punishment should be stipulated as one of the conditions for giving recognition to schools by the state governments.
All school children should be informed through campaigns and publicity drives that they have a right to speak against physical punishments, mental harassment and discrimination.
Officials said that NCPCR has constituted comprehensive Guidelines following a detailed study which was conducted in 2009-10 involving 6,632 children across seven states.
The study had found that out of the 6, 632 children, 6,623 children had reported experiencing some kind of punishment. As many as 81.2 percent children had been subject to outward rejection by being told that they were not capable of learning or some other kind of verbal punishment.
Of all the interviewed children, 75 per cent reported that they had been hit by a cane while 69 per cent had been slapped on the cheeks. The cruel practice of giving electric shocks was also reported by 0.4 per cent of the interviewed children.
Based on the findings of the report the NCPCR experts have come out with guidelines which stress on "positive engagement" with children.