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Corporal Punishment: A classroom perspective

Corporal Punishment: A classroom perspective

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Published by aceleaf
Corporal Punishment a Pakistani classroom perespective
Corporal Punishment a Pakistani classroom perespective

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Published by: aceleaf on Nov 28, 2009
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05/18/2012

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Corporal Punishment: A classroom perspective
Pakistan is the signatory of “Declaration of the rights of child 1959” and“Convention on the rights of child 1989”. “The Article 19 of the Convention onthe Rights of the Child, Pakistan ratified in 1990, condemns all forms of physical and mental violence against the child, including injury and abuse”.  The provinces banned the corporal punishment. The NWFP government did itthrough, “a letter (1803-30/F. No 13/DS &1/M&N/G: Corr: dated Dec 13, 2003)by the director of schools and literacy”. (DAWN 14 January 2004 e/Edition). The Punjab and Baluchistan issued similar directives.In Pakistani schools, physical abuse and torture is widespread. It is illegal andbut not criminal. The law is objective less. The law, which cannot be adeciding factor, is hypocrisy. The people, in favor of corporal punishment quote “Section 89 of the PakistanPenal Code (PPC, 1860) [that] allows parents, teachers and other guardiansto use corporal punishment as means to discipline children under 12 yearsold.” When cases of physical assault against child come under discussion, thispiece of legislation is a handy cover. The baseline is, name physical abuse ascorrection “
Islah
” and mistreat little children. The objective of corporal punishment is fuzzy. Ask a teacher, “Why youpunish the students?” Nine out of ten times “
Islah
(“correction”) is theanswer. Then, as an afterthought, perhaps in remorse, they amend. Acomplaint statement follows. It ranges from overpopulated classes, lack of space, recreational facilities and economic conditions faced in daily lives. Etc.Corporal punishment bears psychological scars. Some develop fears of facingpeople and problems. It hinders the learning process. Pakistan PsychologicalSociety has recorded its adverse medical effects. “The students taught underphysical abuse and torture, when grow up, they usually, get over reactiveand are hard to discipline”. A senior professor told. Worst still, is a linkbetween punishment related school dropouts and crimes. When deemed wrong, a student is subject to punishment. A teacher cannotbe wrong, especially, while administering punishment. He becomes alwaysright. A student, a lesser mortal, not supposed to question his actions.Intertwined are the school dropout rate and corporal punishment. Thereasons of dropout are social and economic. The corporal punishment is thecore social reason of school leaving. For young ones, it is catalyst of socialevils. In fact, the slogan “Education for all” remains just a slogan. A class is in progress, rather a monologue. At the end, a question pops up.“Understand?” A unanimous voice follows. “Yes Sir/Madam/Miss”. Who daresto question a “stick holder”? By this, one can conclude. Truth is a victim,where fear rules.
 
When asked a teacher “why punishment, even, at the primary school level?”“I produced so many Doctors and Engineers,” He proudly announced. “Whatabout the drop outs?” I meekly reminded. Who will tell our schoolteachers,the objective of schooling is not mass production of doctors and engineers.Some argue that corporal punishment is the last resort. The analysis suggestsotherwise, usually, punishment is the result of “Frustration”, either atpersonal or professional level. Grudge and incompetence makes it evenworst.We live in “interesting times”. Picture one: a teacher committed to applyevery legal or illegal means. The sole objective is “correction” of students.Picture two: A frustrated person, unable to face the pressures around him. Then, as a catharsis, gives vent to his anger. Different sides same coin. The punishment is immeasurable. The scale varies. The studies suggest thatthe students with weaker and diverse background on social, religious,cultural, caste and economic lines get more. Some people, usually teachers, have a strange myth. “The part of the bodybeaten up by the sticks of a teacher will not be burnt in the hell”. Perhaps,nobody knows the exact source of this saying. However, a smokescreen of myth is available.High regards for teaching fraternity. The schoolteachers are working undereconomic stress and low self-esteem. In order to resurrect ego, someteachers threat, intimidate and punish the students. The rural and semi-urban schools are examples. The schools elsewhere are no exception.Sometimes, students with physical strength or quick learning abilities act asliaison between students and a teacher. They control, teach, revise lessonsand punish classmates on behalf of their teacher. “Pseudo English MediumSchools” and “government schools” are examples. The rural and semi-urban parents are unique. As a word of encouragement,they tell the teachers to punish their child, as they like. Nevertheless, makehim a great person
(Barra Admi)
. Thus, justification granted. However, thestudies on runaway children and jailed individuals show that excessivepunishment only produces what it is. It teaches how to hit and insult. Whenthe pupils learn it, the society blames. The social sector is vital. They work for children. They create awareness andhelp legal standardization. The beneficiary is a teacher. A teacher requiresknowing, in clear terms, that he should act, within the parameters of the lawand ethics.Who is to judge, the punishment awarded and executed was fair or unfair? Isthere any mechanism to stop it? For the purpose, establish punishment andabuse reporting centers.Due to social and economic factors, physical abuse is vastly underreported.Maintain a database of press record of physical abuses committed againstschoolchildren. Publish periodical report of actions taken against everyindividual case.

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