OPINION

Blanket ban on corporal punishment and other forms of child abuse in educational institutions

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By: Nisar Hussain

Recently Directorate of School Education Kashmir (NationalEducational Policy Cell) issued an order which impressed upon all the school heads and teaching officials to refrain from inflicting the corporal punishment on students in the educational institutions. The order has been highly appreciated and welcomed by all and sundry. Since educational institutions are meant to provide a positive and stress-free environment to the school going children, we must ensure that during teaching learning process theyshouldn’t feel any kind of pressure or stress which would eventually impact their learning development.

Education is to draw out the best and to expose the hidden talent andhow would this be a reality when a child is under stress or any kind of mental disturbance?

There is a well-known saying, “A bad workman quarrels with his tools.” This quote has some relevance in this context as one may question that why a teacher whose job is to teach, facilitate, mentor and guide the child, indulges in corporal punishment or any other kinds of mental abuse? It means that the teacher lacks the basic professional skill setneeded for teaching.

Why are children suffering corporal punishment in schools? Why do the teachers need to punish children while learning? Are the children that much incapable and dull that they are unable to learn things? Or, is it the necessity for teachers to beat children to make them learn things? If the answer is no, let’s find the fault-lines.

Obviously, the teacher who beats and punishes a child lacks motivational and other professional skills needed for the job and if he/she isn’t ready to learn the teaching-learning strategies, there is no point continuing the job.

Students must feel motivated and that is precisely the job of a professional teacher besides facilitating and hand-holding them in the process of learning. Motivation plays a vital role in education and without it one cannot think of successful education and learning process. Motivation increases persistence and cognitive processes which eventually leads to improved results and performance. It also increases willingness among the learners to get ready for learning.

So, teachers must work for the development of their own motivation skills so that they don’t indulge in any kind of mental abuse or corporal punishment, whether knowingly or unknowingly, to students while teaching. Rather they should work in a friendly and stress-free environment with the students. Only then educational institutions can surely attract children and they can really become the centres of quality education.

The decision to ban corporal punishment besides other mental abuses in educational institutions, is actually a huge step and a great initiative in the journey of ensuring safe childhood and safe schools here. Teachers must be extra cautious while teaching and they should handle the students amicably and sympathetically because we know that loving nature and sympathetic and empathetic behaviour have always been a driving force behind every successful person and pressure tactics like physical as well as mental tortures have always turned out to be the main cause of increasing rates of drop out and never enrolled children.

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