Experts at a public hearing on Sunday urged the teachers and parents to stop punishing children both physically and mentally at the educational institutions and home to protect their rights and ensure better future.
They also urged the policy makers to make the curriculum easy for the primary level students to reduce the pressure on them.
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Save the Children jointly organised the public hearing titled “Resolve physical and mental punishment to protect the rights of children” at the city’s CIRDAP auditorium with Justice Nizamul Huq in the chair.
Four cases of child punishment by the teachers in different districts were presented in the hearing.
Mentioning that the violence against women and children is increasing in the country day by day Executive Director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) Rasheda K Choudhury said such violence is not acceptable.
She said few years back 86 percent of the parents used to consider that the punishments they or the teachers mete out were meant for the betterment of their children. Encouragingly, she said, the percentage has dropped down but still stands as high as 52 percent. “So, it’s possible to stop these kinds of punishments.”
Terming the Primary School Certificate (PSC) an immense pressure to the students Rasheda said PSC level students are too young to sit for any national examination and urged the policy makers to think about it carefully.
She also said though the percentage of physical punishment has reduced to some extent, the incidents of teachers’ abusing the students verbally is still there.
Nizamul Huq said, “Children will not become a good person if he/she does not get any physical punishment we all have to come out of this concept.”
Addressing the hearing, psychology therapist Nasima Akter said any type of physical and mental punishment may create long term trauma in children’s mind that greatly hamper their normal living.
Human Rights Commission member Nurun Nahar Osmani, the Acting Editor of the Daily Ittefaq, Tasmima Hossain, BLAST advisor M Masud Karim, Advocate Shihab Ahmed Shirazee, Advocate Z I Khan, Sohoj Path principal Momena Begum and Advocate Abu Obaidur Rahman among others spoke in the programme.
They urged the authorities concerned to implement the laws over the issue to end physical and mental punishment to the children.