EDUCATION TRIBUNE

Spare the rod and save the child
V.P. Prabhakar
D
ismissal from service and arrests of teachers have failed to deliver the desired message to those schoolteachers, whose number may be small, who continue to believe that corporal punishment is the best form of discipline. A few months back a teacher of a convent school in Kalka was dismissed from service for subjecting his pupil to corporal punishment.

HP measures to rein in study centres
W
ith a view to checking the mushrooming of private institutions and study centres being run as off-campus and distance education centres of deemed universities in Himachal, the Directorate of Technical Education and Vocational and Industrial Training has issued directions to the Directors of Secondary Education, Medical Education, Health and Family Welfare and Animal Husbandry to initiate action against such institutes in the state.

Intellect without values is dangerous
Kirandeep Kaur
E
ducation is a sub-system of the wider social system. Although it functions autonomously, it has linkage with the economic, political, religious and other sub-systems which exert a powerful influence on the goals of the educational sub-systems. Education can rarely free itself from social and cultural norms and has to relate itself to the needs of society.

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Spare the rod and save the child
V.P. Prabhakar

Dismissal from service and arrests of teachers have failed to deliver the desired message to those schoolteachers, whose number may be small, who continue to believe that corporal punishment is the best form of discipline.

A few months back a teacher of a convent school in Kalka was dismissed from service for subjecting his pupil to corporal punishment. The school authorities, at the intervention of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), had dismissed the teacher for hitting the student while he was watching a basketball match in the school premises. The medical examination of the boy confirmed the allegation and the teacher was dismissed.

A Punjabi teacher of the Chandigarh public school repeatedly hit a student of class VII in January 2001 on his head, despite forewarned that the student was recovering from a head injury. After an inquiry, the teacher was dismissed from job.

In a horrifying episode, two primary school students, Prem Nath (10) and Harun (7), were killed when their heads were allegedly banged against each other by their teacher at Chhote Murma village, about 15 km from the district headquarters of Jagdalpur, on the afternoon of December 22, 2003. The boys were brothers. The teacher was arrested.

A private school teacher of Dhanas in Chandigarh beat three students on the pretext that they had not done their home work. This incident occurred on October 6. The students alleged this followed when they refused private coaching from the mathematics teacher. The teacher has since been placed under suspension.

A month earlier this school was also in the picture when a teacher made boys slap three or four girl students because they had not done their home work. It was alleged that one of the girl student had tried to commit suicide because of the humiliation meted out to her.

A Sanskrit teacher of a high school in the Balh Vidhan Sabha constituency of Himachal Pradesh on October 5, beat a 12-year-old student, Aakash, mercilessly. Aakash said the teacher came late and started beating him, although some other students were making noise. The panchayat of the area has written to the Chief Minister for transferring this teacher.

Another incident occurred on the same date at Senior Secondary School, Kotli, Mandi district, where a Sanskrit teacher beat a Class X student, Jagdish Chand. Some students were playing badminton and a shuttle cock hit the boy’s eye. When he asked the teacher for help, he gave a blow on his back, as a result which he fell on the ground.

A report of merciless beating of a eight-year-old student of Class III studying in Cheland Primary School in Jogindernagar sub-division in Himachal Pradesh appeared in papers of December 23, 2003. Jai Chand, allegedly beat up Rohit so much that his both hands were swollen. The father of the boy, Mr Amin Chand, reported the matter to the police.

There is no dearth of instances across the country about corporal punishment to school students. In today’s world one cannot raise a stick against a dog because legislation on prevention of cruelty to animals. But no such Act is there to ban corporal punishment in educational institutions.

There are parents-teachers associations in a large number of schools. Normally, the president of such an association is also member of the local management committee of a school but many a time, he or she is not even invited to the meetings of the committee.

In fact, no instance has come to light where the parent of the victim has approached the parents-teachers association to take up the case with the management.

Corporal punishment contravenes the convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1980 and adopted by India in 1992. Article 28 of the convention provides: “State parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity.”

Besides, research reveals that corporal punishment is not only ineffective, but also makes a child defiant, rebellious and hostile.
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HP measures to rein in study centres
Ambika Sharma

With a view to checking the mushrooming of private institutions and study centres being run as off-campus and distance education centres of deemed universities in Himachal, the Directorate of Technical Education and Vocational and Industrial Training has issued directions to the Directors of Secondary Education, Medical Education, Health and Family Welfare and Animal Husbandry to initiate action against such institutes in the state.

Taking note of a news item appearing in these columns on August 3, “Deemed Universities befooling students”, the Director, Technical Education, has issued written directions to these departments to take note of such study centres running without the requisite NOCs from respective departments.

While directing the departments to initiate lawful action against such institutes, the Director has asked the directors of the institutes to ensure the students are not cheated.

Maintaining a check on several institutes providing technical education in the state has become a difficult proposition as many are being run without the consent of the directorate. While a UGC letter (N0.F-1-3/2004(CPP-1) dated June 8, 2004, clearly prohibits running of any off-campus centre / study centre or extension centre by Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur, and Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Sardarshahr, most private institutes have been found claiming affiliation to either of the two deemed universities in Himachal.

The Director of Technical Education, Mr R.D.Pawar, taking serious note of this letter, has directed the departments concerned to issue directions to check the growth of these institutes, particularly those claiming affiliation to these two deemed universities.

A meeting convened some time back under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, had expressed concern at the lack of inaction on the part of the departments concerned to check the growth of such institutes, providing sub-standard education to students in Himachal. The issue was also raised by the state Education Minister at New Delhi at a national-level convention on education.

To check this menace, the Directorate of Technical Institute has introduced 10 demand-oriented technical courses in the private sector and the industrial institutes in the state from the current academic session. A committee constituted by the directorate was constituted to check the infrastructure and fee structure of such private institutes running across the state.

It had come to the knowledge of the directorate that a majority of such private institutes not only charged an exorbitant fee from students, which far exceeded the actual fee charged by the headquarters of these deemed universities, but the certificates issued by these deemed universities did not bear the names of the off-campus centres where hundreds of students were studying the courses.

Enquiries revealed that a fee ranging from Rs 60,000 to Rs 75,000 was being charged from each student while it stood anywhere between Rs 30,000-Rs 35,000 at the headquarters of the deemed universities. 
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Intellect without values is dangerous
Kirandeep Kaur

Education is a sub-system of the wider social system. Although it functions autonomously, it has linkage with the economic, political, religious and other sub-systems which exert a powerful influence on the goals of the educational sub-systems.

Education can rarely free itself from social and cultural norms and has to relate itself to the needs of society.

Due to globalisation and modernisation, our society is passing through momentous changes in its value system. Values of yesteryear have taken a backseat and materialism, corruption, dishonesty and other negative values have come to the fore.

At this junction, all formal and informal agencies of education like family, school and community should realise the explosiveness of the situation. As is said values cannot be taught, they are caught. All the agencies should become role models if we want our youth to be on the right path.

Absence of a congenial and loving atmosphere, extramarital relationships and quarrel among parents are the major hurdles in this direction. In a nutshell, the family has ceased to be an institution for providing cultural, aesthetic and moral education.

On the other hand, formal education is squeezed between memory and mechanisation. The teacher has become a businessman doing private tuition instead of institutional teaching. Race for degrees and jobs has deteriorated the situation further.

The National Policy of Education (1986) has shown concern in this regard when it says, “The growing concern over the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for re-adjustment in the curriculum in order to make education a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values”.

The whole system of education needs complete overhauling. If at all we the citizens are desirous of thwarting deterioration in values, teaching at all levels must emphasise on moral education and character building. Intellect without wisdom can be suicidal.

— The writer is Reader, Department of Education, Punjabi University, Patiala.

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