In the wake of the recent incident of corporal punishment being given to two Class 1 students at the Antonio D’ Silva School in Dadar, the demand for a panel to frame a code of conduct of acceptable behaviour for students and teachers has gathered momentum.
The state government had formed a panel of senior educationists, psychiatrists, teachers and parent representatives and NGOs on the lines of schools in the US and Europe in 2012. The panel members were to list the expectations from a student inside and outside the classroom and suggest the corrective measures to be taken in case the rules are violated. While the panel began work on the code in 2012, their work has hit a roadblock.
Basanti Roy, co-ordinator for preparing the code of conduct and former secretary of the state board, said, “We had a brainstorming session in November. But, later, schoolteachers got busy with exam preparations. We hope that the work will begin once the academic year ends and teachers get some free time.”
Once the rules are ready, the panel will submit it to the school education department for further review.
Experts want the process to be completed soon. Farida Lambay, co-founder of NGO Pratham and one of the panelists, said the code of conduct will equip teachers to deal with student misbehaviour without resorting to aggression. “Our teachers continue to follow archaic methods of disciplining students. They are merely doing what their teachers did to them. We need to orient them to include positive reinforcement to discipline students,” she said.
One of the measures proposed in the code of conduct is forming committees where children can participate and voice their opinion on how they should be punished if they misbehave.
“Children should be allowed to regulate their behaviour. They should be given a chance to define acceptable behaviour and suggest punishment for disobeying rules,” she said.