Merriam-Webster defines ‘school’ as:
Definition of school
1a : to teach or drill in a specific knowledge or skill <well schooled in languages>
b : to discipline or habituate to something <school oneself in patience>
2: to educate in an institution of learning
Yes, school is an institution of learning. But more often than not, some Indian schools are swiftly turning into institutions of torture, harassment and punishment.
On such shocking incident happened at Thane’s Gyanoday Vidya Mandir School where an innocent 6-year-old girl named Prachi was punished in a horrendous way by her teacher Rekha Nair.
The teacher decided to punish the girl by pulling out her hair, when the student girl’s father did not pay the school fee of Rs.4,000.
Physically and mentally scarred for life, the naive girl narrated the appalling incident to her father when the father questioned the girl for not going to school next day.
The fist-sized bald spot will remain as a permanent memory of the cruel and insane act. Akhilesh Gupta, father of the victim, said to a leading daily:
My daughter, Prachi, was crying at the mention of the idea of going to school. I was shocked when she told me what happened. I have a small photo studio in Indira Nagar area and my wife is a housewife. I immediately gathered whatever savings I had, paid the fees and reported the incident to the principal. I could see my daughter shaking with fear when the teacher, Rekha Nair, entered the principal’s cabin. My daughter still cannot get over the incident and has not gone to school until today.
Even though the teacher has been suspended, there is no serious action taken against her or the management. I have been pursuing the matter and will not rest till my daughter is given justice.
The school in question has assured of justice and the secretary, RN Tiwari commented:
We have always told our teachers not to hit the students as punishment, and about how corporal punishment is against the law. The teacher has been suspended for a week. We have asked her for her response to the incident in written. If this response is not acceptable, we will terminate her position at the school.
The father’s agony did not stop at this. When he approached the local police station to file a FIR of what his daughter had gone through, the police briefly replied that such matter should be solved by the school and him.
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I was going to register an FIR at the Vartak Nagar police station but two police officials there refused to file the complaint saying that the matter should be resolved internally between the school and me. I want to pursue this case and ensure that the teacher, as well as the management, gets their due for assaulting my six-year-old daughter.
Providing more information on the case, a Mumbai-based educational activist commented,
Collecting fees is not the responsibility of the teacher. While what the teacher did, in this case, was brutal and unacceptable, the management and the principal should also be questioned and charged for pressuring the teacher to an extent where she had to use force to get the class II student to ask her parents to pay her fees. This is a criminal act and police action is a must.
It is absolutely flabbergasting to see a pious institution like school being turned into a building of harassment. It is time that the concerned authorities take action and make the childhood a happy journey once again.