There was this incident that happened a few days ago where a teacher was seen beating a student and humiliating him in front of about a hundred students in the class.
As the video of the incident went viral on social media, it divided people into two sides. One side supported the actions of the teacher, saying that teachers have full right to beat their students in order to correct them. The other side totally disagreed with the incident and opposed the actions of the teacher.
Now, how correct is it? Should a teacher have the right to beat students for whatever reasons? How does it affect the students?
Well to that end I have personal experience to share. I have faced this physical abuse and humiliation myself. To document I will provide a few incidents that happened to me, below:
From my childhood days, when I was either in 2nd or 3rd standard, I recall we were in morning assembly. Programmes were being held and we students were listening as the audience. In the meantime, I took a small pebble into my hand and started drawing with it on ground. Due to that childlike innocence that we all possess I was completely lost in a world of my own, enjoying every moment.
I was somehow in this subconscious state, completely cut-off from the world around me. This didn’t last, as quite shockingly, a kick on my back woke me up. I fell down, by the sheer force of that kick, on the side of my face. For a minute I could not gather what had happened to me. When I came to my senses, I saw kids around me laughing.
As I turned around, I saw a female teacher behind who actually had kicked me with that pointed shoe with high heels.
I felt so terrible, so emotionally distraught that it really broke me up. It was less because of the physical pain and more because of the humiliation that it caused to me.
I faced even more of these humiliating incidents as time went on, and from a plenty of other teachers, not just her. I grew up with a stressful mindset, became hesitant with each encounter, and in due course of time I developed fear of people.
As time went on, I started talking less, scarcely interacting with people. This affected my psychology so much that my behaviour changed, I grew isolated from social life. Even to this day, these things still haunt me. I am very hesitant, shy, extremely introverted. And no matter how hard I try to overcome these things; they prove very difficult to change.
A teacher should be friendly, a person with whom we can discuss our innermost problems. The true purpose of a teacher is to be a guide, one who leads by his knowledge and experience.
A teacher should not act like a captor, rallying kids at gunpoint. He should talk to and console kids if they find them with behavioural problems. Those things work with kids, not sticks and punches.
In the past era, how many children have dropped out from the school? That you can clearly see. Due to the harsh treatment of teachers, students thought of education as more of a burden, that which prisoners carry, rather than anything beneficial to them. Many students succumbed to the psychological pressure and committed suicide.
I’m an unfortunate witness of such an incident. There was a guy in my primary school, a class senior than me. He was an average student. Once he hadn’t memorized a question. The teacher asked him to take his shirt off which he did out of fear. The teacher made him stand and beat him with Kashmiri nettle plant.
The pain of the stinging plant made him fall unconscious. One can only imagine. This treatment at school eventually made him leave his studies. Although he belonged to a well reputed and financially sound family, this abusive treatment developed in him a fear of schools. There could be thousands of, and there still are, students who ran away from education like this.
This was the main reason why govt made B.Ed. compulsory, so that teachers could understand how to deal with students, how to develop enthusiasm regarding education in them and how to guide a student in the best way possible, not to treat them like cattle.
Humiliation is no way of correcting a student. Even prisoners’ dignity is protected while the dignity of students is publicly dragged down, all with the false mask of correction.
By: Sayima Dhar
The author is pursuing masters in mass communication from Kashmir University.