Govt brings anti-punishment guidelines for schools
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Last Updated: Monday, March 05, 2012, 22:00
New Delhi: A key government body on Monday unveiled guidelines to eliminate physical punishment and discipline schools after a survey came up with shocking findings on students being subjected to corporal punishment.

Special monitoring cells to take action in cases of physical punishment, undertakings by teachers against beatings and social audits of schools in areas of corporal punishment are among guidelines unveiled today by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

The NCPCR brought out the Guidelines after a detailed study which was conducted in 2009-10 involving 6,632 children across seven states revealed a shameful picture.

The NCPCR survey revealed that the use of physical punishments was rampant in Indian schools and cane beating by teachers was a common practice. Even kids in the age groups 3 to five years were not spared, the survey revealed.

The survey also revealed prevalence of cruel forms of punishment like giving electric shocks to children.

Equipped with the hard findings of its survey, the NCPCR revealed a slew of measures which is feels would seriously dent the "spare the rod, spoil the child" methods.

Amongst the prominent measures that the guidelines suggest is the formation of Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) by schools.

The CPMCs should not only hear grievances related to corporal punishment, child sexual abuse, mental harassment abut also forward recommendations to district level authorities within 48 hours of the occurrence.

The NCPCR's "Guidelines for eliminating corporal punishment in schools" also 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 also 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.

The NCPCR study had earlier 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 NCPCR data also quashes the popular belief that schoolgirls are treated less severely than boys. As per the study, if 78 per cent of boys had experienced cane beatings, 71 per cent of the girls also had also suffered the same.

Slaps on the cheek happen to be the second-most common form of corporal punishment in schools with 69.9 per cent students admitting to have experienced it. Amongst the students interviewed, 71.9 percent boys and 67.1 percent girls admitted having been slapped on the face.


First Published: Monday, March 05, 2012, 21:50

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