A study conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has revealed that more than 99 per cent of children face corporal punishment, this was in march of this year 2012. What comes under the umbrella of corporal punishment ..physical punishment, mental harassment and discrimination of children causing physical and mental harassment. What is more staggering is the numbers. According to their survey around 6500 students only 9 or 10 of them have not received any corporal punishment. That goes to say about what is happening in the schools in india. In a recent incident, a girl who studies well committed suicide, because the teacher threatened her that she will not be allowed to write the exams till xth, because another classmate copied from her paper. The girl scared that she will not be able to do her x board, hanged herself at home. I have already mentioned that a boy committed suicide because he was ridiculed by the teacher for his language skills a few years back. But what really shook me to write this today, (I have been contemplating writing this for some time now), is that a a teacher cut the hair of a special needs child because the child would not let her hair alone..(though they have stuck to saying it is because there was food)in north Carolina, usa. A warden makes a 10 year old drink her urine, because she bedwets?? And then they compensate by giving a lumpsum?? Will that erase the shame of the incident from the child. A school in the uae, parades a child around the school stating he is useless. A child gets a kidney rupture because the teachers hits him on the stomach. A child loses vision in one eye because she was hit by a duster. A child was gagged because she would not stop talking.. A vice-principal hits three kids with a fire-extinguisher, because they were playing with it while decorating their class for teacher’s day (irony??) There was this girl whose locks were cut off because she went in a different style (it later came out the teacher was jealous of the girl’s hair) Well there is more to corporal punishment than physical.. Being singled out in a class of 50/60 and made fun of hurts the children in ways not comprehensible, it is more sensitive as the child goes into the teens. Being made fun of their physical appearance, their physical abilities by the teachers is another thing that could definitely hurt the self confidence of the child. I still can’t digest the abusive language which a teacher used against the children of class 12, in a government school (because they were looking out) when I had taken my daughter for a vocational exam. Latest study indicates that corporal punishment makes children very aggressive in many cases and destructive too in some. These are the children who would show a higher level of aggression towards peers, siblings, parents and spouses and also the society as such. The verbal abusive remarks takes a toll on the confidence of the child and results in the usage of the same. Today, education is important. And many a time the child spends more time with the teachers than at home, a little more considerate and compassionate towards children. Unicef is voicing against corporal punishment. And one of the ambassadors for the same Mr.Anil kapoor once confessed that his son was affected by corporal punishment. I am sure that he would not have been part of the local schools but one of the elite schools. This only shows that it is not about elite, hi-fi or the government schools the corporal punishment has been the same all over. What is more funny, is that when I was a kid I did not have this law against corporal punishment, and today the child knows about the existence and still gets more punishment than what we got as kids?? . yes I remember getting hit by the cane by the teacher, as a part of punishment for the whole class.. AT the same time I had a discussion with a retired teacher who is respected by many students even today..and these were her thoughts.. That the teachers are at higher stress these days to perform and bring out 100% results in their class, that they are forced to spend more time with school based activities, and are not able to do anything else..end result is a frustrated and stressed out..and they don’t get enough breaks these days . The salaries are so low, and the fear of losing their jobs is also high. You do not act in tandem with the management you are out of the school before you blink the eye. A staggering number of 40/50/60/and sometimes 70 students in a class and continuous classes all the 8 periods makes them equally irritated and tired..and it is too difficult for them to manage. Some parents do not take studies seriously till the 6th or 7th and then come and put pressure on the teachers for not taking care of their child. These are the parents who do not turn up at any parents teachers meetings. At the 12th standard, they tell us do whatever you want, but we want our son do get above 80.. the pressure adds up as the child moves from 10th.. it is not only the child, but the teachers also suffer. Many of us suffer with respiratory infections and throat related issues because of continuous shouting.. Students today are more naughty, and are restless more than what we have seen 10 years back, inspite of being prepared, learning new ways it is becoming more and more difficult to manage them, more so because they are pampered at home and they expect the same from us. Students are more sensitive these days. Students think using abusive language, doing things that are not allowed in class, like bringing a cellphone, tempting other children with pocket money, dating, eve-teasing is all so common now at school level. As long as nothing happens the parents are not bothered, once something happens, they blame the school first. After listening to her views, I felt there were some facts in what she was stating and I should learn to take it with a pinch of salt, though I would not agree to the teachers taking their frustrations out on the children, maybe they need a committee for their upliftment and also anger management classes. As parents, we need to raise our voice against this, but many do not do it for fear of the internal marks, now it is more so because the teachers have a stronger hold with the new grading patterns from cbse. I know of teachers who threaten children with the FA marks that they have control over.. Communicating with your child, learning what is happening in school. Being aware of any change in behavior, like not talking to the regular friends, being moody. I believe discipline can be done without the need for a cane or a whiplash tongue. We don’t need any extremes. I was aghast when I read about a teacher caning herself in front of 500 students, to make the child who stole money from somebody to confess and also successfully getting the children to pledge never to steal..i felt that was another extreme. What is your experience, as a parent, as a student, and your take on corporal punishment and what initiatives needed.? (P.S. i find a group of people out there who feel that you need to take the stick to the child, because if it was not for the stick that changed their paths, they would not be able to give these comforts to their children. that they were disciplined better because of the cane, the boxing of the ears..) image courtesy:google.