NCPCR issues fresh, strict guidelines on corporal punishment
The Times of India, June 5, 2009

NEW DELHI: Concerned over the increasing violence on children in schools, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued fresh and stricter guidelines to state governments asking them to take action against officials who fail to check the menace of corporal punishment.

This comes in the wake of the incident in the Capital recently in which a nine-year-old girl, Shanno, died after she was asked to stand in the sun for hours with bricks on her head allegedly by her teacher in a MCD school.

NCPCR has said that the onus to stop corporal punishment is not only on the teachers and school heads but also on state government officials.

"There have been complaints from children highlighting the insults and humiliation they face while in school. The new regulations have been issued to protect the children rights," said an official.

Under the new regulations, all chief secretaries and education secretaries have been asked to act tough against those district collectors or deputy commissioners, who are not able to end the menace.

The Commission headed by Shanta Sinha has stated that regular block-wise meetings of all school heads should be conducted to keep a thorough check on corporal punishment cases which should be reported to the higher authorities.

The guidelines suggest that "serious action" should be taken against the erring official by the education secretary in case the guidelines on corporal punishment are not implemented.

As per the guidelines, all district collectors have to submit a report to the education secretaries on the action taken by August 1, 2009, and the latter should submit a comprehensive report to the Commission by September 2009. "The Commission will go through the reports and then take necessary action against states, if needed," said an official.

To stop corporal punishment and enable school teachers to treat children as equal human beings with respect and dignity, the Commission has also asked district collectors to conduct meetings with the district education officers, block education officers as well as the cluster resource centre staff on the importance of protecting children's rights and against corporal punishment. Instructions should be issued to them that they would be held accountable for any instance of violation of the rights and corporal punishment in school.

The district authorities have also been been asked to instruct every school head to hold a general body meeting of all parents as well as school education committees or parent-teacher associations on the NCPCR guidelines and the procedures to be adopted for protecting children and their rights.

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