Teacher thrashes 5-year-old to simply apologise later?

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Jammu, August 10: Sonia Mehra (6) is a student of Upper Kindergarten (UKG) in Navdeep Shiksha Kunj, a Secondary school in Resham Ghar colony. She had to undergo a session of what can only be called barbaric in her Hindi class yeasterday. Barbaric because this treatment by her teacher tantamount to corporal punishment, which even India banned in 2000 keeping up with the spirit of Right to Education.

Sonia was thrashed by her kindergarten teacher in the school namely Ritika, who takes all the subjects for the young at Navdeep Shiksha Kunj.

Sonia’s father noticed the blue marks on her body and went to her school to take up the matter with the school authorities.

The Principal of the school at first clarified that as policy the teachers do not physically punish children but when the father insisted showing the injury marks, the teacher was beckoned to the office.

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The teacher at first instance blatantly denied any such incident but when the family of the child spoke of going to the police, the teacher got all apologetic and pleaded forgiveness.

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Many schools and oddly even parents still advocate the policy of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ not having an iota of understanding of how some children undergo irreparable trauma and stress and never recover from it all their life. Not all students can mentally bear the agony and stress that public humiliation leaves them with.

Sonia Mehra does not come from a highly educated family. Her father works as an employee of a small private firm. Her parents forgave the teacher but there is no guarantee that another child would not be thrashed by the same teacher or another tomorrow. The school authorities need to pass on strict instructions from time to time about reprimand if a teacher is found engaging in physical abuse of a student.

The Department of School education also needs to have stringent measures in place such that these incidents are not as commonplace as they are. These measures cannot just be on paper.

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