Govt brings anti-punishment guidelines for schools

Last Updated: Monday, March 5, 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.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 21:50

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