Bangladesh today banned corporal punishments in schools after upsurge in such incidents, warning the teachers of legal action if they hand down “inhuman punishments” like canning and beating to pupils.
“It has been noticed that teachers of some educational institutions impose inhuman punishments on the students for various reasons including violation of discipline and negligence in study. The school management committees will identify the teachers,” read an education ministry order.
The order said also said that teachers should help flourish physical and mental growth of the students and groom them up as worthy citizens.
The inspectors of offices, directorates and education boards under the education ministry will observe the matter during their visits to educational institutions and are asked to mention it in their inspection reports.
Noting that “students’ progress gets hampered due to physical punishment,” the government circular also said the violation of the order would be treated as “misconduct” on the part of the teachers who could also be exposed to justice under Child Act or at least departmental actions.
Officials said corporal punishment like canning in schools was banned under a 1995 law, while it was supplemented by a subsequent High Court order and another government directive issued in 2008.
But a UNICEF study last year said nine out of 10 children in the country were physically beaten in schools, while in last such major incident, a 10-year-old school student last month committed suicide after being exposed to such heavy punishment at a Dhaka school prompting the High Court to issue an interim order to stop beating in schools on writ petitions by several rights groups.
Authorities in March this year ordered an investigation as a teacher’s cruelty sent eight children, aged between seven and 11, to hospital in southeastern Feni after they were severely canned by their headmistress for forgetting to bring colour pencils to the class.