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'Teachers still favour physical punishment'

Spare the rod, spoil the child - most of India's teachers still follow this age-old adage, a study says.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 14:10 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Spare the rod and spoil the child - nearly 70 per cent of our teachers still follow this age-old adage,New Delhi according to a new study done to ascertain how teachers discipline their pupils in India.

"A significantly greater number of teachers who had received punishment during childhood opined in favour of punishing children. These teachers were also involved in this activity," according to Dr Harmesh Singh, Department of Pediatrics, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

The study found that physical punishment of school children by teachers is common. Stress in the family (of the teacher) and punishment received during the childhood were significant risk factors.

Around 77 per cent of teachers had themselves received punishment during childhood, says the study, presented at the recent National Conference of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics.

"The problem of physical punishment is also common in places like Delhi. We get one or two cases daily of children who develop some psychological problem due to this," says Dr J M Wadhawan, Psychiatrist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here.

"Physical punishment is not the way to correct a child. In fact, it can result in school phobia, low confidence levels, besides hampering learning and creative abilities of a child. The child who once receives physical punishment is even scared to ask a simple question in the class," says Dr Wadhawan.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 13:53 IST