PESHAWAR, June 21: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should take corporal punishment in schools as a serious issue and strictly implement the law against the practice that has been forcing children to commit suicide or say goodbye to their studies.
This was stated by Imran Takkar, programme manager of Society for the Protection of Rights of the Child (Sparc-KP chapter), while speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday. He lamented that despite repeated proposals the government did not pay attention to control such punishment in schools.
He said that during last few months seven innocent children committed suicide due to corporal punishment or fear of punishment in Charsadda, Nowshera, Timergara and Chitral.
“The Child Protection Act 2012 could only be effective if elements involved are punished, as 70 cases of corporal punishment have been reported during 2011-12 from across the province but the government failed to take any serious action against the perpetrators,” he claimed.
Referring to this year’s survey conducted across in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the collaboration of elementary and education department, he said that teachers were responsible for 87 per cent of corporal punishment while 13 per cent of parents used to torture their children to get their orders obeyed.
He said that the provincial government had prohibited corporal punishment at public and private schools through an order on April 11, 2012 besides directing the authorities for monitoring and redressal mechanism of corporal punishment in both government and private schools.
The official said that corporal punishment was one of the major factors resulting in dropouts of students and increasing number of children on street and child labour. He said that the provincial government should make legislation, set up effective monitoring system to check abuse of power by teachers or other professionals and enhance awareness of negative effects of such punishment.
The society’s manager for juvenile justice Akbar Ali Shah said that promotion and incentive of teachers indulging in corporal punishment should be stopped to discourage the practice.
He said thatPakistanwas among the 20 countries that had ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNRC) and according to its articles 19 and 37 every state was responsible to protect children from all kinds of abuses and exploitation.–Dawn