The West Bengal government has decided to ask primary schools not to allow their teachers to “chastise” students or “discriminate” between them. Those found guilty of doing so will be punished.

The decision comes after the death on May 17 of a boy allegedly beaten up by his teacher at a primary school at Basanti in South 24 Parganas district. The teacher has been arrested. 

“In no way will chastising or discrimination of a student by a teacher be permitted. If it is done, it will be treated as corporal punishment and the errant teacher will be punished,” Manik Bhattacharya, chairperson of the Primary Education Board, said here on Monday. “Just like no physical punishment such as beating or injuring a student is permitted and is considered corporal punishment, mental harassment in any form will not be allowed.”

 While Section 17 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, says no physical and mental harassment of a student will be allowed in classrooms, the government had not termed turning students out of classrooms corporal punishment. Nor had it deemed so exclusion of students by teachers from games and co-curricular activities.