HRCP chief slams ‘corporal punishment’ incident
By Adnan Lodhi
LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairwoman Asma Jahangir on Friday condemned the ‘corporal punishment’ incident that took place at the Nazam Pura Government High School in Nankana Sahib district where a teacher brutally beat up a grade 6 student.
The HRCP chairwoman said that the case of Zeeshan Ali, who was ‘brutalised’ by his teacher, is one such example and such incidents are ‘detrimental’ to the country’s academic environment and acceptable in no circumstances.
Monitored: Asma said corporal punishments in schools must be monitored and the guilty teachers must be brought to justice. She said students were beaten up over ‘petty issues’ at government schools and were threatened with expulsion in case their parents raised the issue with the administration.
According to Zeeshan’s father, Munir Ahmed, on March 1, Nazam Pura Government High School Physical Training Instructor Muhammd Amjad physically beat his son with sticks when he came to sit for an exam. He said as a result of the ‘extreme torture’, Zeeshan became unconscious and fell to the ground.
Denied: Muser Bibi, the tortured child’s mother, told Daily Times that when she went to the school to question the teacher about the reason behind her son being beaten up, an “enraged Amjad used extremely foul language” and verbally abused her. She said the teacher denied the existence of any government policy prohibiting corporal punishment in schools, stating that he would continue to ‘punish children’ regardless of the government policy or any action parents might take against him.
She said her son’s medical check-up had revealed several contusions on his body due to the beating.
Zeeshan told Daily Times that he was preparing to sit for the exam when Amjad started to beat him with a stick for ‘not maintaining a straight queue’.
No action: Meanwhile, Zeeshan’s parents claimed the authorities had taken no action against the incident that took place on March 1 (Monday), although they had lodged complaints with the Punjab chief minister and the Nankana Sahib EDO (Education).
Munir said an application against the school teacher was also submitted with the Shahkot Police station house officer (SHO), but police refused to take any action against the teacher because ‘he was a government employee’. He said he also complained to the school’s headmaster but no official inquiry had been launched so far.
HRCP council member Nadeem Anthony also condemned the incident, demanding the Punjab CM and Education Department officials hold a detailed inquiry into the incident. He said corporal punishment had plagued the education system in Punjab and serious efforts were needed to eliminate the practice.
Amicable resolution: Nazam Pura Government School Headmaster Abdul Razaq said the administration was trying to amicably resolve the issue. He said the teacher had beaten several students, but certain situations “demanded of teachers to punish students”.
Although corporal punishment is banned in educational institutions across the province and many government schools in Punjab display the slogan ‘Maar Nahi Pyaar,’ but this has not been put into practice at all. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) government in 2005 issued an executive order to all government schools that corporal punishment would not be tolerated anymore and severe action would be taken against the guilty teachers, as it was the major reason of the growing number of children dropping out from school.
Another incident of corporal punishment took place in Chungi Amar Sidhu on November 18, 2009 where a private school teacher, Muhammad Amjad, brutally beat up a grade 6 student.
Source: Daily Times