The best way

Deciding on a case, the Lalitpur District Court has drawn the attention of the ministry for education and sports to declare all private and public schools torture-free zone. The court was responding to a plea against Ramchandra Khanal, a teacher at the Lalitpur-based DAV Sushil Kedia Biswobarati School, for torturing a grade nine student who had allegedly called the teacher by his surname. Khanal reportedly manhandled Aman Mahaseth, the hapless victim, by his hair, repeatedly slapped him on face and made him stand in the middle of a field for two full hours. The bench headed by Judge Damodar Prasad Pokharel also established precedence in Nepali jurisprudence by fining a teacher in a torture-related case for the very first time.

The incident at DAV school is an isolated event. News of teachers torturing students even for minor mistakes has become a common fare. In this context, the latest verdict is a timely reminder that something concrete ought to be done to protect children from the wrath of violence-prone teachers. Childhood experiences form the cornerstone of adult psyche. Those tortured in their childhood are likely to face many psychological problems in their adulthood. Hence the best way to ensure that the country produces well-rounded and capable future citizens is by guaranteeing that children grow up in fear-free and intellectually invigorating environment. Declaring schools torture-free zone and enacting tougher laws against the teachers who show cruelty to their students would go a long way in meeting this goal.