Close all schools for a day – stop corporal punishment

Close all schools for a day – stop corporal punishment

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A clarion call has gone out to Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, MP to close all schools and madrasas on January 13 for the day, by resolute anti-corporal punishment crusader Sir Frank Peters.Sir Frank said he’s making this appeal to the minister to remind and emphasize to all headmasters, teachers, pupils and parents that corporal punishment in schools is against the law and those who continue its reprehensible practice are lawbreakers working against the development of children and the nation’s advancement.
He recommends the schools and madrasas are closed on January 13 to highlight the seventh anniversary of the High Court ruling of January 13, 2011 that bans corporal punishment in Bangladesh.
In their ruling, Justice Md. Imman Ali and Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif, declared corporal punishment to be: ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom’.”
“It’s sad, a blight on the Bangladesh education system, and a scar on Bangladesh society in general that children are still being mercilessly beaten and damaged by law-breaking, unprincipled, ‘teachers’ seven years after the horrific practice was outlawed,” said Sir Frank.
“Corporal punishment is cruel and is the most widespread form of violence against children. If directed at an adult it would constitute criminal assault. It is in total violation of children‘s rights, it’s humiliating, disrespectful, and reduces their human dignity to zero. It sends messages to children that tell them it’s acceptable for adults to beat them or do what they like with them, and that violence is the solution to all problems.
“Many pupils and their parents don’t know of their rights by law and many alleged ‘teachers’ take advantage of this. By closing the schools on the seventh anniversary of the ban, will get people talking in villages and towns and asking why the schools are closed that day and learning the law is on their side to help prevent their children from cruelty, abuse, and damage,” he said.
Sir Frank said there are many good, decent, professional, honourable, compassionate teachers in the Bangladesh school system. These are on par with the best in the world, but there’s an element within the noble profession that’s giving the profession a bad name. These need to be identified and weeded out for the sake of the children and nation at large.
“Closing the schools on January 13 would be an appropriate way to celebrate the anniversary of the corporal punishment ban. It would allow teachers, parents and pupils to contemplate the consequences and address the horrific ill effects of corporal punishment,” he added.
Sir Frank said corporal punishment is just another pseudonym for child abuse that even gives terrorism a bad name. “The victims actually know the terrorists, many are their village neighbours,” he said
The human rights activist said corporal punishment is totally wrong in any setting and has no place in modern society. “Countless studies have proved it serves no useful purpose whatsoever, but causes untold damage by creating damaged children, broken adults and fashions an appalling society that nobody approves.
“There is enough cruelty, brutality, unkindness, and terrorism in the world without actually teaching it in the classrooms. Schools should not be hellholes of fear. We reap what we sow. Rabindranath Tagore was 100% right when he said ‘discipline means to teach, not to punish’. That’s a vital lesson most headmasters and teachers in Bangladesh need to learn.
“Education must embrace non-violent teaching, non-violent parenting. The rot must stop,” he said. – Staff Reporter

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