Pakistan’s education system has multiple loopholes which act as hurdles on the path of modern-cum-progressive education. Corporal punishment is one of them which is widely entrenched in the grass root levels of the education system. As per a survey launched by Alif Ailaan, in 2014, 70% of teachers in Pakistan agreed that corporal punishment is necessary for maintaining discipline in schools. Both, private and as well as government school teachers, rely on physical punishment in order to make the pupils to study well. Mostly, it is being exercised in public schools across the country. Devoid of teaching methodologies, the teachers often go for corporal punishment.
Albeit, this obsolete and outdated practice is too common across the country, Balochistan is suffering the most. The province is blessed with a number of natural resources, yet education is a far cry for most children. Meanwhile, the province is often quoted as the abode of the largest number of out-of-school children in Pakistan.
According to a study, Balochistan is the home of more than 1 million out-of-school children, unreported cases are in exception. Amidst such a shocking scenario, corporal punishment in schools across the province further deteriorates the existential issue. Furthermore, it is one of the defining causes of students dropping out from schools in the country. This statement is clarified from a report of Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child [SPARC], stating that corporal punishment causes up to 35,000 children in Pakistan to drop out from schools every year.
The whole system is wide off the mark to progressive and scientific ways of delivering knowledge. In fact, the teachers are severely unaware of productive modus operandi of teaching the students, therefore, they often prefer the option of physical punishment. Unfortunately, our teachers are unaware of the deleterious impacts of corporal punishment on a child’s psyche. Such tactics only lead to enhance aggressive and violent tendencies in adulthood.
Moreover, it is the rudimentary cause of anxiety and aggression; factors which increase vulnerability to radicalization. Consecutive governments have done nothing to come up with a facile solution. There exists no practical measures to halt down the violent approach of teachers towards the pupils. It demands something beyond the legislative framework.
Most recently, a case of corporal punishment appeared on surface in Government Middle School, Awaran. Some students were horribly beaten by the principal of the middle school himself. In the result, many of them left going to school again. Sadly, the act was not done by an ordinary teacher of the institution, but the head of the school himself.
The district is already far-behind in terms of children’s education, corporal punishment further drags the students into vicious cycles. The Balochistan government ought to bring forward a practical and valid approach to stop infliction of pain on students – particularly in far-flung areas of the province. If the principal himself relies on the tactic of physical punishment, the attitude of the rest of the staff would obviously be surprising.
Given the widespread use of corporal punishment, it is of utmost necessity to deal with it on the practical grounds. It serves a tool to destabilize students mentally. As long as the government remains silent on this grave issue, it continues to haunt the system drastically. Last but not least, Balochistan government in general, and federal government in particular, must produce measures to handle the culture of corporal punishment in schools across the country.