Despite a ban on corporal punishment in schools, some teachers are still flagrantly abusing children’s rights by brutally punishing them.
In the latest incident, an eighth grader at Abbottabad Public School, Mansehra was allegedly subjected to severe punishment for breaking a flower pot on Thursday.
Ali’s left armb was fractured and he had to be hospitalised.
Zakia Bibi, the victim’s mother, told the police that Haider Ali mistakenly hit a flower pot on his way out of class, for which he was made to squat and hold his ears.
In the meantime, Zahid Malik, the school principal who belongs to an influential family, came and allegedly started thrashing him. When Ali clarified his position, the principal became infuriated and allegedly beat him up with a bamboo stick, fracturing his left arm in two places.
Ali’s body was severely bruised indicating the severity of the punishment. The police, however, refused to register a case against Malik.
When Malik was approached for comments by newsmen, he refused to comment on the issue and instead began publicly threatening them with “dire consequences” if the report was published.
Pakistan was the first among 20 countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which holds the state responsible for protecting the child from any physical or mental abuse, torture or degrading punishment and maintaining the child’s dignity.
In addition to that, under Section 34 of the Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010, anyone found guilty of corporal punishment may be imprisoned for a period of six months with a fine of up to Rs50,000.
According to the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), 41 cases of corporal punishment were reported in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from January to June 2011.
Data collected by SPARC indicates that about 35,000 high school students in the country drop out of school every year due to corporal punishment.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2012.
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