Pune school had appointed language monitors to report students

Jul 11, 2014, 10:34 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Day after 12 students from Priyadarshani School were brutally beaten up for talking in Marathi, parents said the monitors keep a track of every instance of their peers using any language other than English

Parents of children studying in Priyadarshani School in Bhosari say the school appoints language monitors in each class to keep an eye on students and prevent them from talking in any language other than English on the school premises.

Every instance is notched up as a penalty by the monitors and, based on their report, teachers punish the offending students regularly.

mid-day had reported yesterday (‘12 students thrashed for speaking in Marathi’) how at least twelve Std VIII students were brutally caned by their English teacher Jitendra Singh for speaking in Marathi.

“These episodes of punishment have been going on for a month. My son had told me how he had seen some students get punished for speaking in Marathi. But Wednesday’s incident crossed all limits, and hence, I decided to raise my voice against it,” said a parent of one the kids who was beaten up.

“At the beginning of this academic year, the school appointed language monitors in every class. The monitors specifically count how many times their classmates interact in languages like Marathi and Hindi, and not in English. They then present a weekly report to the school CEO, and the students are punished like they were on Wednesday,” the parent added.

Another parent said, “Till now, when any parent approached the school authorities to speak up against corporal punishment, they would threaten to rusticate the student. But, after seeing the injury marks on my son’s body yesterday, I decided to stand up against this practice. My son is more important to me than him studying in that particular school. I may shift him to another school.”

Meanwhile, after NGO Dnyandevi Childline filed a complaint on Wednesday, the Bhosari police filed a case against the accused Jitendra Singh under Section 23 (cruelty to juvenile or child) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The section provides for six months in prison, or a fine, or both.

“By the time the NGO filed the complaint, Singh had already left for Mumbai to avoid facing any action. However, we have called him up and summoned him to the police station immediately,” said Tukaram Hargude, police sub-inspector at Bhosari Police Station said. “We also sent 4-5 victims to YCM Hospital for a medical examination,” Hargude told mid-day.

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