The education ministry is working out a policy to give guidelines for teachers to stop corporal punishment in schools and madrassahs, the education secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury told New Age on Friday.
‘We have already drafted the policy and it is now in the final stages,’ he said as he was asked about the government’s action against corporal punishment in the wake of High Court ruling in this connection.
The High Court on Thursday declared illegal all kinds of corporal punishment of students, such as caning, beating, chaining, forced haircut and confinement, in primary and secondary schools and madrassahs.
The bench of Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif also asked the authorities concerned to take action against the teacher’s giving corporal punishment as misconduct as such punishment was extrajudicial.
Corporal punishment has long been used in schools and madrassahs. Sometimes, teachers punished tender-aged children in the name of disciplining. In some cases, children died following the punishment and sometimes some children commit suicide.
Following some incidents of corporal punishment, the High Court on July 18, 2010 ordered the government to stop corporal punishment. It also asked the education ministry to immediately instruct all primary and secondary educational institutions by issuing a circular to stop such corporal punishment of students.
The court observed that the government had failed to take appropriate and adequate action to address 14 cases of corporal punishment, including the one that led to the suicide of a 10-year-old boy.
The High Court also calls for preventive action and security of the victim and said that any inquiries into such incidents should be confidential and should ensure protection of the victims.
The court pronounced the verdict after the final hearing in a public interest litigation writ petition filed by rights organisations Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and Ain o Salish Kendra.
The court also asked the ministry and all education boards to report to the court in two months on the measures taken to investigate such incidents and prosecute and punish the offenders.
The petitioners’ counsel Sara Hossain mentioned 18 incidents of corporal punishment that took place in 2010 as reported by the media.