Stress could be a major reason school teachers resort to corporal punishment despite laws banning it, a recent city-wide survey suggests.
Conducted by the Parents Teachers Association United Forum last year, the survey found that 62% of teachers resorted to punishment due to stress in their professional and personal lives. Of the 200 school teachers surveyed in the city and Thane, 71% were forced to punish students as indiscipline was on the rise.
“Over the last few years, as schools have been asked to abolish corporal punishment, teachers feel suppressed and afraid to confront students. In some cases, this can lead to an outburst where the teacher resorts to physical punishment to discipline students,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal, Holy Family High School, Andheri.
Some educationists say the ‘no detention’ rule up to Class 8 under the Right to Education Act has bred an unhealthy classroom environment. “In the survey, teachers complained of students misbehaving or not taking studies seriously,” said Arundhati Chavan, president, PTA United Forum.
Counsellors say corporal punishment can affect children deeply. “Corporal punishment can create fear among younger students and affect self-confidence among older ones,” said Hima Bahuva, counsellor, Dr Pillai Global Academy School, Borivli.
The Borivli school initiated a concept for classroom discipline two years ago, where students and teachers charted disciplinary rules together. “When students are also involved in the process, they internalise the rules and become responsible for their behaviour, which also reduces stress on teachers,” said Bahuva.