Nurture children with care, not the cane

Published: Nov 19, 2018, 07:15 IST | mid-day online desk | Mumbai

Last week, mid-day highlighted two such incidents on its front page

A survey by a Gurugram-based non-profit has shown how over-worked and prejudiced teachers, who do not have the requisite training in disciplining children, are nurturing an abusive environment in schools.

The non-profit has revealed the shocking plight of underprivileged children in government schools, where physical assault and verbal harassment are normalised in government schools. The survey is set to be released tomorrow, which will mark Universal Children's Day.

Last week, mid-day highlighted two such incidents on its front page. In the first, a thrashing from a teacher left a boy in Pune with partial paralysis and impaired vision. In Dombivli, when a mother complained about an abusive teacher, the school blamed her son and asked for his mental fitness certificate.

Of the respondents surveyed, around 80 per cent spoke about being beaten up regularly at school. A shocking 71 per cent of them said that being beaten up for a reason was okay. Several children from this demographic also receive beatings at home. It is all the more important then that their school atmosphere be a caring, loving space that also provides learning.

We need to close the gap in standards between private and government schools. We have to ensure that teachers are not stretched beyond their call of duty. They have to do election duty, office administration and other work. They vent their frustration on students when they are overworked.

It is important that authorities take a careful look at this survey because it is extremely likely that some of these problems are pan-India. These children are going to grow up and become adults, join the workforce and be part of society one day. They need all the nurturing we can provide.

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