Corporal punishment rampant in schools

Kathmandu, November 23

Despite clear laws criminalising violence in any form against children, parents and teachers alike still openly flout this law.

Eight-year-old Ajaya Dhobi from Banke, a student at a private school in Kathmandu lost his eyesight when his teacher, Aradhana Rana, threw a book at his face and hit his eyes for not doing his homework.

Twelve-year-old Samir Meheta’s hand was fractured by a teacher for not bringing an English dictionary to class.

Caning, slapping, punching, and other means of physical abuse used to ‘discipline’ children are extremely common in the country.

According to a report published recently by the Central Child Welfare Board under Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare, corporal punishment is more common in private schools and higher secondary schools than in other schools.

The report stated many private schools hire a ‘Disciplinary In-charge’ whose job description is to note wrong-doing and award punishment to children with little regard for their rights or well-being.

“Many teachers have the wrong belief that children can only be scared or forced into learning. They must understand that fear will only push them further away from learning,” said Tarak Dhital, director of the Central Child Welfare Board.

The report says that every year, almost 21 students are seriously hurt by corporal punishments taken too far.

“Violence against children is taken so casually, it is appalling,” Dhital said, adding, “Even at homes, where children should feel the safest, they are often subjected to violence over the smallest slights.”