National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has framed guidelines for dealing with violence in schools in a sustained and systematic fashion so that incidents of corporal punishment in school do not result in tragedies

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In the last three years the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has received several complaints of corporal punishment taking place in schools across the length and breadth of the country. Many of these have been quite vicious in nature resulting in severe injuries or even death of the child.  In response NCPCR has framed guidelines for dealing with violence in schools in a sustained and systematic fashion so that incidents of corporal punishment in school do not result in tragedies.

In the case of the complaint received from the father of late Rouvanjit Rawla of La Martinere School, Kolkata an enquiry was instituted by a committee set up by NCPCR to look into the facts of the case.  The Committee submitted its report to the Commission on June 22, 2010. Subsequently the Commission deliberated on the findings of the Committee and has made the following recommendations:

1.       To the School Board:

a.       Removal of the Principal and Vice Principal as they not only used corporal punishment on the lateRouvanjit Rawla themselves, they also condoned the use of corporal punishment by other teachers. As such they are collectively responsible for creating an atmosphere of fear and trauma in the school.

b.       Denial of increment to teachers who inflicted corporal punishment on the students.

c.       Review of teaching practices in the school and a revision of service rules for teachers in light of the spirit of child-centred education embodied in the RTE.

d.       Accountability of the Board in the functioning of the School. This calls for greater engagement of the Board in matters related to child rights, found to be absent thus far.

2.       To the State Government:

a.       Putting into place systems and structures in all schools so that matters related to discipline and punishment are dealt with in a continuous and comprehensive fashion by all concerned – students, teachers, school management and parents – and do not result in tragic outcomes. For this, mandating child right cells in schools is recommended.

b.       Ensuring the implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education, including Section 17 that prohibits all forms of Corporal Punishment by taking firm action in cases of violation.

c.       Drafting State Rules/ Guidelines for the implementation of Section 17 of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

3.       To the Central Government:

a.       Drafting Model Rules /Guidelines for Section 17 of the RTE Act and disseminating them widely.

b.       Sending out appropriate messages on the seriousness of the issue of corporal punishment as a violation of the Right of the Child to Free and Compulsory Education.

c.       Undertaking widespread publicity of the Act including the prohibition on corporal punishment.

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