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Govt panel sounds beating retreat

Special monitoring cells to take action in cases of physical punishment, undertakings by teachers against beatings and social audits of schools in areas of corporal punishment are among guidelines unveiled today by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). HT reports.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2012 02:42 AM IST

A clear definition, monitoring cells in schools and written undertakings by teachers are some of the measures suggested by a government body to eliminate corporal punishment from schools.

At present, there is no definition of corporal punishment under the Indian law.

The Right to Education Act, 2009, merely says “no child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment”.

On February 13, Hindustan Times was first to write about these guidelines.

Different forms of discrimination, mental and physical harassment that will all amount to corporal punishment have been detailed in the charter.

Releasing the guidelines on Monday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also fixes the responsibility on teachers, school management and government officials concerned in case of a complaint.

"It is hoped that the new guidelines will pave the way for children to go to school and truly enjoy the process of learning and growing up in a non-violent culture," said Shanta Sinha, chairperson, NCPCR Schools should set up monitoring cells to look into students' complaints, says the panel. They should also do a survey of cases, if any, of physical punishment and harassment and make the findings public at the start of academic year.

Teachers shouldn't use cane in the classroom and instead clearly communicate commands and use temperate language. They should give a written undertaking, promising not to engage in any form of corporal punishment, says the panel. States should make corporal punishment-free environment one of the conditions for giving recognition to the schools.

The guidelines were submitted to the human resource development ministry last week, said an NCPCR official. Once approved, these would be sent to the states for implementation.

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