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 “
” and mistreat little children. The objective of corporal punishment is fuzzy. Ask a teacher, “Why youpunish the students?” Nine out of ten times “
” (“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.