New Delhi: All school education boards must take note of cases of corporal punishment in their schools, form a grievance redressal cell to receive such complaints and take quick action, the Central Information Commission (CIC) said on Friday.
The “teacher and the school also shall be liable to pay compensation to the injured child according to law,” it directed.
The Commission ordered the KVS (Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan), headquarters and regional directors to voluntarily disclose whether they have framed a policy to eliminate corporal punishment in their schools, gather details of incidents of corporal punishment and take action taken against liable teachers, compensation to be paid and amount of compensation paid to the victims every year, beginning with 2015-16, within three months.
The CIC ruling came in a case where appellant Bhramanand Mishra under the Right to Information sought a copy of the inquiry report about the beating of a student by teacher Yagya Dutt Arya in Kendriya Vidyalaya School, Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh.
“All the School Education Boards, including KVS (Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan), ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education), CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and State Boards should take suo motu cognisance of the incidents of corporal punishment in the schools affiliated to them and to get the same inquired into within a reasonable timeframe,” said M. Sridhar Acharyulu, information commissioner at CIC, in his order on Friday.
Acharyulu held that school boards should maintain a multidisciplinary panel of professionals (state-wise) for conducting independent inquiry and constitute a grievance redressal cell to receive complaints of corporal punishment and to take appropriate action in such matters expeditiously.
The information commissioner also recommended that “each school shall publish such a report every year, which shall be the model for other school” as it will go a “long way in making school a place of pleasant learning free from assaults and humiliations”.
“The KVS also should have a policy of paying some amount as compensation to the victim children and that amount should be deducted from the salary of liable teacher. The public authority is directed to collect details of teachers punished for corporal assaults on children including the case of Mr. Yagya Dutt Arya,” Acharyulu added.
The CIC also suggested that grievance redressal cells formed by school boards should work out strategies for preventing cases of corporal punishments in schools affiliated to them.
“One such strategy should be to ask the affiliated schools to organise sensitisation/ orientation programmes for teachers on corporal punishment issues from time to time. The school boards should issue guidelines to the schools affiliated to them, stipulating that ‘corporal punishment free environment’ would be one of the conditions for granting affiliation/recognition to them. Similarly, they should also stipulate that ‘practice of physical punishment/mental harassment’ would be one of the grounds for withdrawal of affiliation/recognition granted to them,” the CIC order said.