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‘Make child rights cells mandatory for schools'

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: Perturbed over an increase in the deaths of students following corporal punishment, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the Centre to draft model rules or guidelines for Section 17 of the Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act that prohibits corporal punishment.

Recommending the compulsory setting up of child rights cells in all schools, the Commission has also asked the States to put into place, systems and structures in all schools so that matters related to discipline and punishment are dealt with in a continuous and comprehensive fashion by all concerned – students, teachers, school management and parents - and do not result in tragic outcomes. It has also said such guidelines should be widely disseminated so that a strong message is sent out on the seriousness of the issue of corporal punishment as a violation of the Right to Education Act.

The recommendations come in the wake of the death of Rouvanjit Rawla of La Martinere School, Kolkata. The panel has also advocated the dismissal of the Principal and Vice-Principal “for not only using corporal punishment on Rouvanjit themselves, but also condoning the use of corporal punishment by other teachers. As such, they are collectively responsible for creating an atmosphere of fear and trauma in the school.”

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