Skip to main content

80% school children are beaten up, 91% parents "approve" of it: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A recent report, prepared by researchers with the civil rights group, Agrasar, has revealed that of the 521 children from marginalized groups surveyed in Gurugram, Haryana, 80% said they are punished at school. Based on data collected from semi-urban communities in Gurugram, the report’s conclusions also take into account survey 100 parents, personal interviews with 26 children, three focus group discussions and one seasonal calendar exercise with 29 parents.
According to the report, titled “Choking Childhood: School Corporal Punishment - Everyday Violence Faced by Disadvantaged Children in India”, responses in the interview sample suggest that the number of children experiencing punishment might be as high as 100%”, regretting, “The large majority of parents (91%) do not only approve of corporal punishment but also uses it at home.” Thus, “71% of children said they are beaten up at home, while 74% of parents admit to it.”
The report says, “Our survey found that an average of 43% of children is beaten regularly, up to three times per week, by their teachers, but the number varies greatly between schools. In some schools, 88% of students are beaten regularly, while in others ‘only’ 30%.” In fact, “Children are told by their teachers and parents that corporal punishment with "a good reason" is necessary.”
The combined result of all this is that, according to the report, “Children find themselves trapped in an abusive environment with little chance of escape. Some evidence suggests that older children are less likely to experience school corporal punishment, compared to younger children. However, when looking at disadvantaged children we find little difference between ages. The frequency and severity of punishment are similar, only the forms are different.”
Pointing out that “gender does not seem to be a major risk factor to experience corporal punishment”, and “there are gender-specific forms of punishment”, with girls experiencing “sexist verbal abuse and humiliating forms of punishment”, the report, however, states, “Boys in upper primary schools receive more physical punishment than girls.”
Agreeing that there are also “teachers who never use corporal punishment”, the report says,
“Disadvantaged children experience both ‘mild’ and severe forms of physical punishment as well as verbal harassment referring to their ‘bad upbringing’. Younger children and boys are more prone to physical abuse, while older students and girls tend to receive more verbal harassment by their teachers.”
Stating that the children interviewed “experience” physical punishment in different ways, the report says, “The forms that are described by the children as ‘least painful’ and ‘not so serious’ include making the students stand in class for the whole period, sometimes with their hands raised, pulling their ears or hair, doing sit-ups, making them stand outside and also slapping them in the face.”
It adds, “While slapping is typically perceived as an act of utter disrespect and therefore as a very serious act of violence, the children experience it so often that many of them said they like certain teachers because they ‘only slap’. Other forms of punishment include not allowing the children to use the bathroom, even if the student asks multiple times, or pinching them in the abdomen.”
As for “more painful forms”, the report says, these include “hitting the knuckles with a duster or scale, and caning the children on their calves, both of which are very hurtful to children as those body parts are sensitive.” Then, “teachers also punish children by threatening to expel them from school or embarrassing them in front of the class, which, according to the children, has a strong and lasting impact on them.”
The report further says, “Not only are children subjected to severe forms of violence, it is also accompanied by psychological torture. For example, several children gave account of a teacher who does not just bang his students' heads against the wall, but turns it into a ‘game’ where he pretends three or four times before he eventually strikes the child's head against the classroom wall.”
It adds, “In another instance a girl child who had a fractured leg was chased through the classroom by her teacher, who then grabbed the girl’s hair and hit her. The children also told us about a teacher who tears apart their books and throws the pieces into the dirt outside the classroom.”
The report continues, “Disadvantaged children experience mental abuse mainly in reference to their low socio-economic status. Teachers use ‘Bihari’ or ‘Bengali’ as a disparaging term for all students who are not locals, and call them ‘donkey’, ‘good for nothing’, ‘uneducated’, ‘illiterate’ and that they had ‘a bad upbringing’.”
As for gender-specific punishment, while “boys are pinched in their abdomen and rib cage and girls are caned on their thighs”, teachers make “sexist comments to girl students about marriage, adolescence, their looks, age and weight etc., and often ‘recommend’ marriage instead of education.”
The report says, “Also, female children are often not considered of equal capabilities and skills compared to their male peers, especially in technical subjects such as math or science. Many teachers do not interfere when boys bully girls or put down a girl's work in front of the class, which instills toxic gender stereotypes in children and teaches boys how to ‘shut up’ girls and ‘put them in their place’."

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
As per a law recently passed, teachers who beat pupils are punished: either fined or jailed depending on the severity of the punishment meted out by them. As is usual in India, the people most concerned are not aware of it.
Rohit Shukla said…
It is very well known that the children are beaten, it is equally well known that parents rarely oppose it. The sample size is too thin and the sample area is very small. Only new point is regarding no. of beatings.

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.