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School CP - September 2004

Corpun file 13981

The Statesman, Kolkata (Calcutta), 2 September 2004


No corporal punishment in schools

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Sept. 2. — The state government today imposed a ban on corporal or physical punishment of school children. The "village school master with a cane in hand" will no longer be a scene in educational institutions.

The chief minister of the state, Mr Navin Patnaik, today directed the officials of the School & Mass Education department to see that no kind of physical punishment is imposed on the students studying in the government and private schools across the state.

It may be noted that several child rights organisations including the Save the Children, an international child rights body working in more than 100 countries, had been demanding a ban on corporal punishment in the state.

The demand was also put forth by the school children during their interface with the members of the Orissa Legislative Assembly here recently.

The child rights activists cited the precedent in Andhra Pradesh where the government had issued a gazette notification in February, 2002 which had imposed a ban on physical punishment in the schools across the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh government had also amended the Andhra Pradesh (Integrated) Educational Rules, 1966, to delete from it corporal punishment from the standard forms of punishment.

They had also quoted a judgment of Delhi High Court which had held that "imposition of corporal punishment is not keeping with a child's dignity and it is cruel to subject a child to physical violence in school in the name of discipline".

The children's consultations held in Sambalpur, Cuttack and Koraput districts had identified physical and psychological punishments as the most prevalent form of violence that affects their development and well-being in the later years.

Children who participated in these consultations said this affected their school performance as the fear of punishment dominated their mind rather than learning. Many of them had said that they dropped out of school because of physical and psychological punishments meted out to them. The child rights organizations had urged the state government to enact legislation banning physical and psychological punishment of children in schools, homes, workplaces and institutions across the state.

Corporal or physical punishment, as defined by the Save the Children, includes hitting the child with the hand or an object, kicking, shaking or throwing the child, pinching or pulling their hair, forcing a child to stay in uncomfortable/undignified positions or to take excessive exercise, burning or scarring the child.

Corpun file 14056

The Hindu, Chennai (Madras), 2 September 2004

Sparing the rod in West Bengal

By Marcus Dam

KOLKATA, SEPT. 1 . Schools in West Bengal will have to give up the time-worn adage, "spare the rod and spoil the child." According to the Minister for School Education, Kanti Biswas, the Government has directed all State-recognised schools from the primary to the higher secondary level and madrassas not to impose any form of corporal punishment on students. "Corporal punishment like caning ... goes against the very tenets of the philosophy of education," Mr. Biswas said.

This direction is in conformity with a ruling by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court given on a public interest litigation this year. There are nearly 51,000 primary, 12,000 Madhyamik (secondary) and 3,200 higher secondary schools besides 503 madrassas here.

A spokesman for the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education said: "The Board has received complaints from guardians of such punishment being meted out. The State Government is working on a new set of professional ethics and a revised code of conduct for teachers that will incorporate provisions against corporal punishment. The existing code of conduct was framed more than 30 years ago and the long overdue revision is on the verge of completion."

"We teachers often lose our temper and take recourse to punishment which goes beyond all acceptable limits," the president of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, Jyotirmoy Mukherjee, said.

He added that forms of reprimand should be preferred over physical punishment. "There have been instances of students being slapped ... This is simply not acceptable," he said.

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