Spare the rod, save the child
Spare the Rod, Save The Child. On June 30, the State Commision for Protection of Child Rights conducted a surprise check on Lords Talent School in Badangpet, Hyderabad and to its dismay discovered that the school was inflicting corporal punishment on its students. The commission immediately instructed the district education officer (DEO) to initiate action against the school.
In spite of a ban on corporal punishment, many schools in the State, we learn, are following this despicable practice. Young Hans speaks to teachers, activists and a psychologist on the issue.
On June 30, the State Commision for Protection of Child Rights conducted a surprise check on Lords Talent School in Badangpet, Hyderabad and to its dismay discovered that the school was inflicting corporal punishment on its students. The commission immediately instructed the district education officer (DEO) to initiate action against the school.
Strict action against the offenders
Talking about the drive, Achyut Rao, member State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, says, “The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is cracking the whip against corporal punishments in schools. We have been receiving complaints from students and parents and prompt action would be taken on schools that are found to be involved. A weeklong surprise drive would be conducted with the help of DEOs in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy. Students and parents will be inquired and if teachers are found guilty, a case will be filed and they would be arrested. Schools would be served with show-cause notice and they may lose their recognition also.”
Hailing the action as a step in the right direction, Prof. Prabhakar Korada, Mallareddy Institute of Medical Sciences, Suraram, says, “Corporal punishment is illegal and unethical. It damages the psyche of the child. An abused child can become an abusive parent and teacher. The personality of a child will be damaged and throughout life they will suffer from insecurities. This makes them hate people. Teachers besides being trained in child psychology need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and practice yoga or other exercises in order to deal patiently with the children.”
Train teachers to handle stress
Reiterating, Prof. Prabhakar’s views, Vijay Paul Reddy, correspondent, St Peter Grammar School, Bowenpally, says, “It has been scientifically proved that punishment has a long-term negative effect on a child. Teachers have to be counselled on this issue. Because of one teacher, the whole school gets a bad name. In courses like B Ed etc., they only teach how to handle the subject syllabus. The teachers are not trained to handle stress. Government and schools should conduct sessions to train teachers on how to handle kids. These days corporal punishment has come down but even that should stop.”
Reach out to the child
Dr M Meenakshi, a teacher in Bhavan’s Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalaya, Sainikpuri, says, “We have psychologists in schools these days to counsel children. Due to family background also children tend to misbehave in schools. Just as we set the frequency for radio stations, children too have a frequency. I use a method called ‘tuning- in’ to ensure that the children enter the right frame of mind and are calm before the class starts. This is not common in India. For noisy children who usually have a wandering mind, listening to music before the class can tune their minds. Finally, if teachers speak politely to children they tend to behave properly.”
Hari Hara Prasad, Director, Sister Nivedita School, shares a similar opinion. He says, “Through love and affection, teachers can mould the child. Teachers have to be balanced. Corporal punishment does not yield any results, but love and affection will surely change the child.”