The death of 11-year-old Shanno Khan in Delhi, allegedly after being brutally punished by her teacher, has understandably outraged society. What is particularly disturbing is that Shanno’s case is not an isolated incident. A recent study shows that two out of every three children in India suffer physical abuse at the hands of their teachers. It would be worthwhile to investigate the causes of such brutal tendencies in teachers.

A. Vani,


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It has become common for teachers to use the cane as a tool of communication in primary schools. They perhaps vent their own frustration at the hapless children. Training programmes should include a psychological assessment of prospective teachers.

S.R. Devaprakash,


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Shanno’s death, as a result of brutal punishment, exposes the extent to which punishment has become an integral part of the education system. Humiliation and abuse during the formative years can cause serious damage to a child’s psychology, apart from hurting him or her physically.

Besides taking strict action against teachers and schools which adhere to such practices, parents should be made aware of the repercussions of physical punishment.

Saiyid Lamaan Hamid,

New Delhi

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