Corporal Punshiment – once again?

Another shocking incident of a child being punished (?) and grievously injured by a school teacher. I had written about some cases earlier this year too.. and now – one more, even more barbaric,even more cruel..

This little girl was apparently ‘hit’ by the teacher for not being able to recite the English alphabet.

‘The incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday when Shannoo failed to recite the English alphabet in class. Angered by this, the teacher allegedly hit Shannoo’s head against the table and made her stand in the sun for over two hours. Unable to stand the heat, Shannoo fainted and was found unconscious by her younger sister, who studies in the same school. The girl then informed their mother, Rihanna, who rushed Shannoo to Maharshi Valmiki Hospital. ‘ She is now in a coma and battling for her life..

It is difficult to digest that this sort of a thing happens.. and seems to happen all the time.. What has our education system come to? Why are we having such barbaric incidents of corporal punishments? And is it just a coincidence that these seem to happen to children from the lower economic strata..

Isn’t it time, we analyse to see why such incidents happen over and over again. In most of the private schools, things have changed, but these incidents keep cropping up.  Isn’t it shocking that the very people, we entrust our children’s education with, can actually almost kill them?

A lot has to do with the lack of awareness among teachers. Clearly, teachers who mete out such punishment are not really in the profession, because they really enjoy teaching or because they want to make a difference.. The sad thing is that in India, teaching has become the ‘last option’.. Of course, there are a lot of dedicated teachers, but even a few  bad apples make a lot of difference – to this little girl  – the difference between life and death!  It just goes to show that we have a long way to go , to try and ensure that good quality professionals enter the teaching  profession – instead of it being a ‘last resort’ , that it has become!

Edited to add - I just came across the news item here – that Shannoo Khan, has died. May she rest in peace. Lets just hope that we learn from her death and no more of this happens..

Teaching or Child Abuse?

I was shocked to see this new here about a teacher who pricked a child in her eye with a pin for failing to answer a question! This child, has been blinded, thanks to a person, who should have been responsible for her intellectual growth!

I don’t have words to express what I feel! Just the other day, NDTV reported of how a child was forced to drink urine because he passed urine in class! The more, I hear of these stories, I wonder about our education system in India! While, I am sure that these kinds of horrible instances of child abuse is not widespread, general apathy amongst teachers is definitely there.

Who are the teachers who are shaping young lives today? When I was in school , I remember we had dedicated teachers, who loved their subjects and some of the things that they have taught me – I remember and value, even today! I somehow, doubt if that holds true, today. With the huge salaries that MNCs pay and IT and ITES booming, why would anybody want to be doomed to a lifetime of teaching? While, there are some very dedicated teachers out there, who still make a difference to so many young people, I somehow get the feeling, that the vocation, that was teaching, is no longer that! Has teaching become the last option for a career?

Or maybe, while we were at school, we did not have such a strong media to report all such incidents? What do you think?

Baby P – Hope you rest in peace…

A little over a month back, there was a lot of outrage in the media in the UK, about a story of a 17 month old toddler, who was tortured to death. It had broken my heart to read about him , but for some reason, I had not been able to write about it – until now..

The mother apparently, let her boyfriend and her lodger torture her son, and did nothing to protect him.. She just helped protect her boyfriend. The kind of things that were done to this defenseless , little toddler – was simply unthinkable.

Apparently this little boy had been in the radar of the child protection agencies and that he was seen 60 times by case workers and yet he could not be saved. It has become a huge issue here. Some heads have rolled in the children’s services at that borough.. I can somehow , even overlook the fact that the child protection services had failed.. I simply cannot believe that any mother could let this happen to her child… Most of us, can’t even bear to see a scratch on our babies.. Can’t imagine what this mother must be like, to let this happen to her baby!

Praying that that little boy , has finally got some peace.. and that no other child has to go through this…

Some articles about this..
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5140511.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/baby-p-the-official-files-1023092.html