Schools deny allegation; parents have lodged police complaints.
Two new cases of school children being beaten up by their teachers were reported in the city last week, raising questions on the effectiveness of school managements in sensitising staff to the trauma that such acts can cause and laws that prohibit corporal punishment and mental harassment.
On December 10, a 13-year-old student of Christ Academy School in Koparkhairne was reportedly slapped and pinched by his class teacher for failing to prepare a speech for a school event. The Class VII student was reportedly traumatised by the physical punishment.
Last Tuesday, an 11-year-old student of Abhudaya Dwarli Vidyalaya in Kalyan (East) was allegedly slapped so hard by a teacher that she was left with a swelling in an ear. The Class VI student, Monica Rane, had to be admitted to a hospital. While the two schools have denied these incidents, parents of the students have filed non-cognizable complaints against the teachers.
“We admitted our daughter to the Central hospital in Ulhasnagar. We are afraid that her eardrum is damaged. We will get the reports from the hospital tomorrow. We have already filed a police complaint. The school management is taking the matter very lightly,” said Murlidhar Rane, Monica’s father.
Prahlad Lemade, Principal, Abhudaya Dwarli Vidyalaya said the school was investigating the matter.
Ashish Chawda, parent of the student of Christ Academy School said, “My son was so shocked and embarrassed that he hardly spoke to us. He was unprepared to deliver the speech that day; he got nervous and could not even read out another speech handed to him by the teacher. This does not give the teacher any right to slap him and humiliate him in front of the class.”
Principal Jason Vaddakethala refused to speak.
The Right to Education Act prohibits physical punishment or mental harassment and makes teachers contravening this liable to disciplinary action. “While the RTE Act specifically mentions that corporal punishment should be banned in schools, it does not mention about any punitive measures that should be taken when such a case is reported,” Arundhati Chavan, president of PTA United Forum.
Chavan claims that the actual number of such cases is much higher than what comes to light. “We keep getting complaints from parents about their children being beaten up or harassed. However, even after knowing about their kids being subjected to corporal punishment, most parents refuse to report the matter