Corporal punishment: Parents of battered student appeal for justice

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Parents of a third grader on Tuesday accused the head teacher of a school in Swat of severely thrashing their child, and appealed the teacher be transferred from the school.

Sabdar Ali, 10, studies at Government Primary School, Manerai in Kabal tehsil. Sabdar told The Express Tribune the head teacher, who is known for punishing students severely, thrashed him on Monday as a result of which the 10-year-old suffered a fracture in his arm. Sabdar was later taken to the orthopedic ward of Saidu Teaching Hospital for treatment.

“I was going to class after using the bathroom when he (the teacher) came suddenly, held me by my ears and knocked me down. It was so painful [I thought] someone had cut my arm,” said Sabdar. He added he cried out for mercy, but the teacher showed none and continued to beat him and threatened to also break his legs.


Sabdar’s father Rahmatullah said his son was now too scared to go back to school. “My son went out of class to the toilet and was beaten harshly when he returned. The teacher held him with both ears, lifted him and then threw him on the ground, injuring him badly. One of his hands was also fractured,” added Rahmatullah.

Sabdar’s father has decided to appeal to the authorities for justice and ask them to take proper measures to implement the ban on corporal punishment in schools.

The practice continues unabated by teachers who feel strictness produces better students in spite of a ban on the practice in educational institutions. The education department has also issued a notification to all schools regarding zero tolerance towards physical punishment, but it is largely ignored.

Executive District Education Officer Abdullah assured strict action would be taken against the accused teacher for thrashing Sabdar. “I have just initiated an inquiry into the matter as corporal punishment and violence against students is strictly prohibited in educational institutions,” he added.

Meanwhile, another primary school teacher allegedly battered a student for being absent from school in a village in Mansehra, said the police. Chairman of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of Government Primary School in Phalala union council, Syed Shabir Shah told the police his son Hamza Ali, a fifth grader, did not attend school on Monday because he was unwell.

The following day, he took an application to the teacher explaining his absence. However, his class teacher Zaheer allegedly started beating him with a bamboo stick and also reportedly kicked him. After this, Zaheer threw him out of his class to further embarrass Hamza, claimed the father.

Shah said his son came home visibly bruised and was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with high fever. He claimed the teacher physically abused his son to settle scores after he accused the teacher of corruption and embezzling PTA funds worth Rs200,000. The police are investigating the matter.

Zaheer, on the other hand, denied allegations of embezzlement and said he punished Hamza with a “small stick for being poor in his studies and for not doing homework.”

Source: The Express Tribune.