Planners of school education, parents and society at large should draw a lesson or two from the shocking death of a school child, caused by merciless thrashing by his teachers in Betul, Madhya Pradesh. Apart from the training component emphasised by Krishna Kumar in the article “The death of a small boy” (Dec. 18), the course curriculum needs to be drastically changed and updated. School teachers should be asked to compulsorily attend meticulously designed orientation programmes and refresher courses.
In a government school at Mehrauli, three to four km away from the NCERT office in Delhi, I saw a teacher dealing with four students in the age group 9-11. To punish them for some act, he asked the boy standing first to bend and holds his knees. He asked a classmate to kick the boy from behind. The boy was unable to bear the heavy kick, and was thrown forward with each kick. The teacher held him down by force to ensure that he was kicked at least thrice. All four students were punished in the same way. I saw this from my balcony, which faces the school. I brought the matter to the notice of the headmaster who assured me such things would not happen again.