India consistently ranks among the worst countries in the world when it comes to providing quality education and one of the reasons behind that is the rampant use of corporal punishment. A video surfaced on social media showing how a teacher purportedly put cello tape across the mouths of two four-year-old students of LKG class to keep them quiet. The incident took place at Narayana e-Techno School in Gurugram, Haryana in October and was caught on CCTV camera. As per reports, the teacher claimed that the students had been disturbing the entire class and she had to use the cello tape as they had been using “filthy language”.
Since the video went viral, the school management has said that they’ve suspended the teacher based on the complaint of the parents of the students. Gururaj, the school principal, told The Indian Express,
“On the complaint of students’ parents, we had taken strict action and suspended the teacher.”
Here’s the video of the incident:
(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)
This is just one of the near-weekly reports of corporal punishment meted out by teachers or school authorities. The Pune Police recently arrested a teacher of a reputed residential school for allegedly slapping and banging the head of a student onto a wooden bench for failing to complete his class assignment. In June, the headmistress of a government primary school in Bantwal allegedly beat up children with a cane for not doing their homework.
As per a report by Agrasar, an NGO working to provide educational opportunities for children, 43% of children in Gurugram said that they regularly faced corporal punishment. According to the report, 80% of marginalised children reported being punished by teachers and blamed for their parents’ poverty. The report also details that the fear and stress associated with corporal punishment can create lead to increased dropouts among students, low-retention rates and poor academic scores.
In 1992, India became a signatory to the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, 1989 that outlawed school corporal punishment and required the government to ensure that “school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity”. In 2000, the Supreme Court also banned corporal punishment in schools across India.