Corporal punishment means physical torture. This could be in the form of beating, canning, thrashing or even whipping. Corporal punishment is a common feature in schools. Several incidents of such punishment have been reported in the newspapers. Such kind of punishment can physically impair a student for his whole life.
It may also affect him psychologically, disturb his mental balance. This kind of punishment should be stopped immediately. The method to discipline a child through corporal punishment was first practiced during the medieval period and is old-fashioned. Teachers should deal with their students patiently, advising and guiding them in every sphere of life.
The term, ‘Corporal punishment’ means ‘physical punishment’. It is a kind of punishment that affects the human body adversely. This could be in the form of beating, thrashing or even whipping’. Thus, punishment of this kind is physical torture to a student and should be condemned and stopped immediately. Moreover, such kind of punishment may sometimes physically impair a student for his whole life. Psychologists are of the opinion that such a punishment can affect a student mentally, for a very long period of time.
In India Corporal punishment has become a common feature in schools. Several incidents of physical assault have been reported in the newspapers. For instance, a student of class XII from a popular school in Udaipur and a student from Delhi Municipality Corporation School died due to the beating, they received from their school teacher. This is shocking. In another incident, a class XI student in Ahmedabad accused a teacher of having hit him so hard that he suffered a temporary loss of hearing. Making a student kneel down or stand for hours, pinching and slapping are all set to be banned under plans to widen the definition of Corporal punishment in schools.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has suggested a code of regulations on the conduct of teachers in schools. A standout feature of the code is a total ban on corporal punishment. So far, only six Indian states have banned the cane in schools. Corporal Punishment is just another form of physical violence and has no place in an enlightened society.
However there are numerous instances of milder punishment that go unnoticed. There is enough evidence to suggest that teachers, including those at elite schools, physically and verbally intimidate children, some of whom could be as young as five years old. There is unfortunately no national law banning cruel or unusual punishment in schools. The National Policy on Education merely says that corporal punishment is not permissible.
Discipline is a must for students in schools and colleges. However, enforcing it through Corporal punishment is highly objectionable and rather, inhuman. This kind of punishment was generally practiced during the medieval period, and is very old-fashioned. Moreover, this is not the right procedure or technique to discipline a student.
Teacher should realize that children at the school level are at an impressionable age. If they are subjected to such kind of physical torture, they may develop a fear (phobia) to approach or meet a teacher, or even attend the school. They will never respect and love their teachers which is very essential for the overall development of a student’s personality. This is because a guru or a teacher is a role model for a student. He must set an example for his students through his behavior and actions. He must deal with his students patiently, advising and guiding him to excel in every sphere of life such as academics, sports, music and various other extra-curricular activities.
A student must also be free and friendly with his teachers, ask questions, clarify his doubts etc. At the same time, he should always respect and obey his teachers. However, this obedience and respect cannot be demanded forcibly through corporal punishment. It can only come spontaneously through deep regard for one’s teachers.
Supreme Court states that ‘children are not subjected to corporal punishment in schools and the they should receive education in an environment of freedom and dignity, free from fear. National Policy on Education directs the school authority to take necessary action in the matter, so that the pernicious practice of affecting physical and mental health of children can be nipped in the bud.
Corporal punishment does not have any positive effect on a student. If further worsens the situation. For instance, a student who is very naughty, or least interested in studies, when subjected to corporal punishment, may become more aggressive in nature. He may even leave the school and studies. Nonetheless, such a drastic decision can be disastrous for a child’s future. Corporal punishment may even cause permanent physical disorders in a child. For example, hard slapping upon the ears can make him totally deaf for the rest of his life. Harsh whipping and canning in the hands and legs can damage the bones and muscles paralyzing him completely.
There are some people who would say scolding of school children and verbal intimidation should not be outlawed. This argument is flawed. Verbal abuse could be as damaging and humiliating for children, especially the younger ones, as physical punishment. Parents often complain to schools authorities against abusing their children in school. But they are too often cowed by school authorities to raise their voice. In such a situation, there is no alternative but for the state government to interfere.
To conclude, it must always be borne in our mind that teaching is one of the noblest professions where one imparts knowledge to others. The teacher must consider his students as his own children, and treat them as lovingly and caringly as possible. He should applaud a student’s achievements, and help him to overcome his shortcomings by motivating him to pursue his interests. A teacher should be there to guide a student to become responsible, educated and a well groomed citizen of a country. While handling students, it must always be kept in mind that they are like flowers. They have to be nurtured with great care to help them blossom and spread their fragrance.