Guidelines to check corporal punishment in schools

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today said tough guidelines will be issued to check corporal punishment in schools in the backdrop of a 13-year-old student in Kolkata allegedly ending his life after being caned by his principal.

Updated: Jun 17, 2010, 21:59 PM IST

New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal
today said tough guidelines will be issued to check corporal
punishment in schools in the backdrop of a 13-year-old student
in Kolkata allegedly ending his life after being caned by his
principal.

Sibal has asked chairperson of National Commission
Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Shantha Sinha to frame and
issue tough guidelines to get rid of corporal punishment in
schools.

"The children are very precious to us. They are the
future of our country. No child should be subjected to
harassment and thereby get demotivated and be pushed out of
the system," he told reporters here.

13-year-old Rouvanjit Rawla, a student of La
Martiniere School in Kolkata, allegedly committed suicide
after being caned by his principal.

Sibal said that the newly-enacted Right To Education
Act prohibits corporal punishment. He discussed the issue with
the NCPCR chief yesterday.

"Because we have a provision in the Act, we can issue
guidelines. We will be in fact in discussion with NCPCR for
issuance of guidelines," he said.

"We must get rid of corporal punishment. Children need
to be included in the system. I think there is so much change
in the methodology and the way we deliver education," he said.

The NCPCR has already issued guidelines in 2007. But
those rules are not enough to check the menace.

Sibal said the school must take responsibility in the
event a student gets prominently damaged following corporal
punishment.

"Ultimately, the school has to take responsibility. In
the event there is corporal punishment and somebody gets
prominently damaged, somebody has to take responsibility," he
said.

Sometimes such incidents drive students to commit
suicide, he said.

"But there should be a process through which there
should be inquiry about the circumstances of the death in
case of a suicide. In the event anybody is found culpable,
then the possible course of action should follow," he said.

-PTI