Corporal Punishment in Schools of Pakistan

As we know that Pakistan has the worst Education System where quality of education is still a matter of great concern. This is a harsh fact; we face a lot of challenges in the name of quality education because we only focus on quantity rather than quality. Now-a-days, one of the major educational problems is corporal punishment which is still practiced in different schools of Pakistan. Despite the rules/regulations set by the Ministry of Education concerning corporal punishment to the children, school’s administration refers teachers to give a strict punishment to the students in response to any kind of misconduct. Corporal punishment is a deliberate act of giving physical pain to the students by hitting, spanking, pinching and slap ping with the hand or with any element. It can have harmful effects on human health which causes physical and psychological injuries. Physical punishment can cause injuries and sometimes it leads to a permanent disability and psychological punishment can cause anxiety/depression which lowers their s elf-esteem and self-confidence.

In 2013, National Assembly passed a bill regarding prohibition of corporal punishment throughout the country. However, no steps have been taken to resolve it in any province. There is a wider range of schools and seminaries s where teacher’s behaviour is so rigid with students. There’s a growing rate of students who dropout their studies due to such practices of educational institutions. Alongside, this can cause several problems among students including anxiety, depression, mental illness, and violence. Consequently, it dooms the entire personality of a child. And parents also suffer due to such in disciplinary acts in educational institutions.

“Corporal punishment of children is a basic human right as it violates the right to respect for human dignity. Studies have shown that corporal punishment promotes aggression and antisocial behaviour in students. Keeping in view, number of countries have banned it, and Sweden was the first one, who banned for corporal punishment in 1979. There are now 52 states committed to prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings. However, according to the Human Rights Watch, as of 2014, 90 per cent of children still live in countries where corporal punishment and other forms of physical violence against children are legal. The Sindh Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act 2016, is an important law, unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly. The SPCPA protects children from corporal punishment at private and public educational institutions, such as; schools, seminaries, childcare, shelters, workplaces, rehabilitation centres, within juvenile justice system registered and unregistered, formal and non-formal institutions.

The law prescribes punishment according to the Pakistan Penal Code to those who violate it. It also prescribes punishment for teachers in terms of promotion and demotion, suspension, dismissal, etc. The law prescribes the formulation of a complaint system to address offences by private institutions.” (Nizamani, 2018)

There’s a dire need to mitigate the issue and requires proper implementation of laws/orders concerning this cruel act. In this regard, there should be a proper law of punishment against teachers and should be implemented in all settings. Government should take strict action towards school administration. Somehow they are also responsible for this cruelty because they tend to allow the teachers for giving such kind of punishments to the students.

Along with this, there’s a need to change attitudes about children’s right for providing equal protection at all levels. The SPCPA should focus on disciplinary measures such as education and awareness building. It is necessary to introduce child rights education and raise awareness at the household, community and institutions. And being a citizen, we should raise awareness against violence to promote a peaceful society.

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