Are Punishments Really Necessary?

November 05, 2014 | 145 Views (0)

Do you think every teacher punishes students to help them progress and not cause pain? Is the pain caused by a particular punishment required to discipline students? I don’t think so! For a sensible person, punishment is simply a way of disciplining a child. Punishments are given to bring the best out of students. However, such isn’t the scenario everywhere!

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In north Kolkata, a teacher poured hot tea on a Class 4 student for being absent. What kind of method is this? The nine-year-old had to suffer burn injuries to his face and body for just being absent?

Many cases of students being severely hit by teachers come forth every now and then. Sometimes, the intensity of corporal punishment is higher than what a student can ever imagine!

Before we move ahead, I’d like to give you a short explanation on what’s corporal punishment. In simple words, any punishment which inflicts pain qualifies to be corporal punishment. The Indian government has officially banned corporal punishment, but it seems a few teachers aren’t ready to accept the change, and parents are hardly aware about the developments. Ultimately, it’s the students who suffer for their innocent or not-so-innocent activities.

In another incident, five students from Payakaraopeta were made to stand in the Sun for being late. After a few hours, the students ended up in King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. Now, every teacher has the right to enforce some discipline on students, but there’s always a softer way to do it. What was more surprising was that the parents were reluctant to complain about the school authorities as they didn’t want to drag the issue further.

Also Read: Infographic: School Dropout Rates in India

In Odisha, the teacher shaved off a child’s head for making fun of another student. When teachers can’t control their anger, how can students be expected to behave properly?

In 2009, in Delhi, an 11-year-old girl was forced to stand in the scorching heat by the teacher. The girl fainted and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, she slipped into coma and died.

Not just these; there are many similar incidences which continue to happen despite the law passed by the government.

Corporal punishment is only one aspect of teachers punishing students; there are many more. Sometimes, the verbal communication used during the punishment is so harsh that it can actually drain a student mentally. To be more precise, certain derogatory verbal statements lead to mental harassment. Do you think a teacher is entitled to mentally or physically harass students? Does it suit teachers who’re known to mentor the future of the country?

Harsh punishments lead to problems like depression, low self esteem, lack of confidence, anxiety and disorders which harm students both mentally and physically. It also encourages violence as children may think that if a teacher can hit them, they too can hit others. Students even drop out of school because of harsh punishments. If punishment leads to school phobias and drop outs, is it really worthwhile?

It’s also believed that lack of punishments leads to indiscipline, and thus, it’s important. Well, in that case, why don’t teachers opt for softer punishments? It’s high time that teachers understand that punishment isn’t the only thing to discipline students, love can also do it.

-Pratibha Yadav

Tags : Punishments Teachers Students Schools