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School CP - November 2005
The Peninsula, Doha, 22 November 2005
School students complain of beatings for arriving late
DOHA: The issue of corporal punishment in schools has surfaced once again with several students of a government school complaining of being beaten up [sic] for arriving late in the classroom. Corporal punishment was banned by the Ministry of Education a few years ago.
The complaints received by Al Sharq daily were from students of the Ahmed bin Hanbal Secondary School located off the D-Ring Road. Several parents have also complained on the issue.
A student from Wakra said: "I reach the school late because of the heavy traffic jams. We are given three options by the school- either to go back or bring the parents or receive the punishment (beating)."
He said, as a young person, this style of punishment was totally unacceptable to him. "I am 19 years old and how could I be beaten in front of my classmates. This is banned by the Ministry of Education and there are other ways of punishment," he said.
Airing similar sentiments, another student said the school had no right to adopt this primitive method of punishment, which could have a negative impact on the student. "Why don't they call the parents and inform them about the delay," he asked.
"We hope the school authorities will respect our age. We are not small boys in the primary school," said another student, adding that the issue should be resolved through discussions between the students and school authorities.
A concerned parent said, the problem was caused by the traffic jams and the school should give some concession until the road works in the area are completed.
"As a father I am not against punishment, but there are better and civilized ways for that other than beating and putting the student standing for long hours in the classroom or outside," he said.
The director of the school, Butti Al Hitmi, who was contacted by the paper said, the school had already given a grace time of 15 minutes considering the traffic jams but still many students were coming late.
"Most of our students are from the Airport and Al Hilal areas. The school starts at 7am and we have asked the students to come not later than 7.15am. But many students are coming 15 or 30 minutes later than that. We can not tolerate this," he said.
He said, corporal punishment was used as a last resort after the students were given repeated warnings. He suggested that the Ministry should intervene in the issue to find a solution.© 2001 The Peninsula. All Rights Reserved.
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