Corporal punishment

Published: September 8, 2019

A teenage boy, Hafiz Hunain Bilal, died on Sept 5 in Lahore after he was reportedly mercilessly beaten by his teacher for not memorising his lesson. He was a grade ten student. According to an NGO, some 35,000 students are annually subjected to beatings in schools in Pakistan, and several, like Hunain, die as a result. Many are left with life-long crippling disabilities. This is in spite of the fact that there is a law on the statute book that prohibits corporal punishment in schools. Reports appearing in the media tell a heart-rending story of how the boy was subjected to a savage beating by the moron teacher.

Quoting the dead student’s classmates, the police said the teacher had allegedly beaten Hunain “because he had failed to memorise his lesson”. The police said the boy was unconscious when he was taken to a hospital where he could not be revived. The teacher has been arrested. The police have registered a First Information Report on the complaint of the boy’s father under Section 302 and Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code. The FIR goes on to state that Hunain’s classmates told his father that the teacher beat him. “The teacher punched him repeatedly, grabbed his hair, hit his head against the wall, and all the while yelling at him. As a result, the boy collapsed in the classroom and died.” Hunain’s classmates told reporters that students who failed to memorise their lessons well were subjected to a severe beating. The teacher was allegedly in the habit of banging students’ heads against the wall. Hunain was also punched on his sides and the stomach. A classmate of the dead boy said, “The teacher was fired previously from the school but returned six months later.”

The boy’s father claimed that his son was being tortured for the past few days over non-payment of school fee, which was deposited on the day the boy died.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2019.

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