From corporal punishment and sexual abuse to verbal and emotional abuse, violence in schools is becoming common in India and in order to resolve this issue, Plan India — a developmental organisation for child rights launched a campaign called — “Learn without fear”, in New Delhi.
It has been established that nearly 69% children report physical abuse, including cases of corporal punishment. Out of the reported cases, two out of three children complained about corporal punishment. Maximum percentage of corporal punishment was found in government and municipal schools. Other forms of violence among children included sexual abuse. The worst offending states include AP, Assam, Bihar and Delhi. Corporal punishments in schools have been handed out for numerous ‘reasons’ like dirty uniform, homework, late comings, late fee, etc. The nature of ‘punishment’ has been found to include making children stand in the sun, do repeated sit-ups and merciless beatings. Violence could be both physical and mental. Children humiliated in a class could turn violent on fellow classmates.
Most educators said that increasing academic competition and parental pressure was over-taxing students and making them angry. Some counsellors suggested that acceptance and supporting the child without being threatening or violent was essential to resolve childhood insecurities. They laid emphasis upon increasing communication with the children and more parent-teacher interaction platforms. Teacher training in understanding student behaviour was also stressed upon.