It is a matter for concern that in many Mumbai schools corporal punishment continues. A survey conducted recently shows that teachers beat children in the name of maintaining discipline. Some resort to the cruel practice out of anger or frustration. They resort to torture in different ways: Usually the ruler is used or anything that comes handy is good enough.
Early this week, a teacher hit the head of a student with a writing pad. He had to be hospitalised as he began to complain of severe headache. Quite a few children do not tell their parents about the punishment meted out to them. Parents do not go to the police fearing vengeful action by the school. It is clear some efforts which were being made recently to stop corporal punishment have failed. This shows that the teachers do not fear any serious trouble for their crime.
The school itself does not hold any inquiry and holds the view that it is the done thing. What is terrible is that children in the age group of 8-12 are punished for acts of ‘indiscipline.’ The children at the tender age experience traumatic experience. A child of ten was punished for bed-wetting: She was asked to drink urine. Those who run schools — usually private trusts are in charge — must be quite stern with teachers who resort to corporal punishment. And school principals too have an important role to play. However, what happens in many cases is that both the trusts and principals regard corporal punishment necessary for maintaining discipline and also to ensure the development of the child.