Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urges schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment

The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has urged schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment, issued by the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of WCD Ministry.

The WCD Ministry has asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development for wide spread circulation and implementation of the Guidelines for Elimination of Corporal Punishment in schools.

            This was done in the light of the recent disturbing incident of girl students who were meted out tormenting corporal punishment in the school for not completing their homework. The incident was widely reported in the media, thereby bringing to public attention the issue of corporal punishment used in schools.

            The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the authority of Ministry of Women & Child Development has developed and issued Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in schools.

            In her letter to the HRD Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has expressed concern at the disturbing incident of corporal punishment in UP. “Corporal punishment has been banned under Section-17 of the RTE Act”, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said. She has urged the HRD Minister that the government as well as private schools may be suitably directed to ensure that these guidelines are strictly observed.

The Guidelines state constitution of Special Monitoring Cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children. They also suggest that Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) should hear grievances related to corporal punishment within 48 hours of the occurrence. The guidelines suggest that school teachers should provide a written undertaking that they would not engage in any action that could be construed as amounting to physical punishment, mental harassment or discrimination. It also says that schools should have annual social audits of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination.

The guidelines of NCPCR on corporal punishment are available on:

Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools
The Commission acknowledges the support it received from the Ministry of  Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the Ministry of  Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of  India in carrying out its mandate in protecting children’s rights.
Our thanks are due to the members of  the Working Group set up by the Commission to formulate the ‘Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools’ under the chairpersonship of  Ms Vimala Ramachandran. The Commission acknowledges the rich contribution of  Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People’s Watch, to these Guidelines.
Our  grateful  thanks,  also,  to  Ms  Gunjan  Wadhwa  (Consultant,  NCPCR)  and  to  all  the  colleagues  in  the Commission who have worked relentlessly on these Guidelines.
The prevalence of  corporal punishment in schools and all other settings as a social norm goes on unquestioningly causing untold harm to children. We hope that these Guidelines are adopted by all States enabling elimination of  corporal punishment in schools completely

1 Introduction 4
2 Perceptions on Corporal Punishment 5
3 Long-term Consequences of  Corporal Punishment 6
4 Definition of Corporal Punishment 7
5 Legal Basis 9
6 Role of  NCPCR and SCPCRs  12
7 Some Guidelines for Affirmative Action in Schools Towards Positive Development of  Children 13
8 Accountability and Multi-sectoral Responsibility       24

  Children  are  subject  to  corporal  punishment  in  schools;  institutions  meant  for  care  and  protection  of children  such  as  hostels,  orphanages, ashram  shalas ,  and  juvenile  homes;  and  even  in  the  family  setting. A study ‘Child Abuse in India – 2007’, by the Ministry of  Women and Child Development, Government of   India,  found  that  69%  of   children  reported  having  been  physically  abused.  Of   these  54.68%  were boys.  Incidents  of   having  been  abused  in  their  family  environment  have  been  reported  by  52.91%  of boys and 47.09% of  girls. Of  the children who were abused in family situations, 88.6% were abused by their  parents.  Every  two  out  of   three  school  children  reported  facing  corporal  punishment.  In  juvenile justice institutions, 70.21% of children in conflict with the law and 52.86% of children in need of care and protection reported having been physically abused.
  Documentary evidence points to the persistence of  discrimination based on social, economic, linguistic and religious identities inside the school. Discrimination based on disability and illness/disease has also been reported.
  It is also reported that psychological aggression (i.e., controlling or correcting behaviour that causes the child to experience psychological pain) is more pervasive than spanking and physical punishment

2.Perceptions on Corporal Punishment

Punishing  children  is  regarded  as  normal  and  acceptable  in  all  settings  –  whether  in  the  family  or in  institutions.  It  is  often  considered  necessary  in  order  that  children  grow  up  to  be  competent  and responsible individuals.
  It  is  widely  used  by  teachers  and  parents  regardless  of   its  evident  lack  of   effectiveness,  and  potentially deleterious side-effects. Its very ineffectiveness tends to result in an escalation spiral which then leads to both a culture of  rationalisation by those in authority and passive acceptance of  the situation as evidence of  ‘caring’ by children.
 So pervasive is the justification of corporal punishment that a child may not think her/his rights have been infringed upon. Even if  the punishment hurts, the child does not feel the importance of  reporting the incident.
  Therefore there are layers of  beliefs and practices that cloak corporal punishment under the guise of  love, care and protection, when it is actually an abuse of  authority that harms the child. This follows from the belief  that those in whose care children are entrusted in school or other institutions are ‘in loco parentis’ and will therefore always act in the interests of  the child. This notion needs to be reviewed in the light of  the widespread violence that exists in all institutions occupied by children.

3. Long-term Consequences of Corporal Punishment
3.1 It  is  now  globally  recognised  that  punishment  in  any  form  or  kind  in  school  comes  in  the  way  of   the development of  the full potential of  children.
3.2   When  adults  use  corporal  punishment  it  teaches  their  children  that  hitting  is  an  acceptable  means of dealing with conflict. The more children are hit, the more is the anger they report as adults and consequently the more they hit their own children when they are parents, and the more likely they are to approve of  hitting.
3.3   Corporal punishment leads to adverse physical, psychological and educational outcomes – including increased aggressive and destructive behaviour, increased disruptive behaviour in the classroom, vandalism, poor school achievement,  poor  attention  span,  increased  drop-out  rate,  school  avoidance  and  school  phobia,  low  self-esteem, anxiety, somatic complaints, depression, suicide and retaliation against teachers – that emotionally scar the children for life.
3.4  Children subjected to punishment prefer aggressive conflict resolution strategies with peers and siblings and they do not consider it a violation of  their rights.
3.5   There is an association between corporal punishment meted out to children and maladaptive behaviour patterns in later life, such as aggression and delinquency.
3.6   The  effects  of   various  forms  of   mental  harassment  or  psychological  maltreatment  have  shown  that
(a)  combinations  of   verbal  abuse  and  emotional  neglect  tend  to  produce  the  most  powerfully  negative outcomes;
(b) psychological maltreatment is a better predictor of  detrimental developmental outcomes for young children than  the severity of  physical injury experienced by them;
(c) it is the indicator most related to behaviour problems for children and adolescents; and (d) psychological abuse is a stronger predictor of  both depression and low self-esteem than physical abuse.
3.7   A chronic pattern of  psychological maltreatment destroys a child’s sense of  self  and personal safety.
3.8   Subtle and overt forms of  discrimination are also known to have a negative effect on the emotional and intellectual health of  children.
3.9   In recognition of  the harmful consequences of  corporal punishment on the child, the General Comment on corporal punishment stated that, “There is no ambiguity: ‘all forms of  physical or mental violence’ does not  leave  room  for  any  level  of   legalized  violence  against  children.  Corporal  punishment  and  other  cruel or  degrading  forms  of   punishment  are  forms  of   violence  and  States  must  take  all  appropriate  legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to eliminate them.” [CRC, General Comment 8, p.6]

4. Definition of Corporal Punishment
4.1 All forms of  corporal punishment including sexual abuse are harmful to the child. Currently, there is no statutory definition of corporal punishment of children in Indian law. Definition of corporal punishment can at best only be indicative. In keeping with the provisions of  the RTE Act, 2009, corporal punishment could be classified as physical punishment, mental harassment and discrimination.
4.2 Physical punishment is understood as any action that causes pain, hurt/injury and discomfort to a child, however light. Examples of  physical punishment include but are not restricted to the following:
4.2.1 Causing physical harm to children by hitting, kicking, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling the hair, boxing ears, smacking, slapping, spanking or with any implement (cane, stick, shoe, chalk, dusters, belt, whip, giving electric shock etc.);
4.2.2 Making children assume an uncomfortable position (standing on bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with schoolbag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling etc.);
4.2.3 Forced ingestion of  anything (for example: washing soap, mud, chalk, hot spices etc.);
4.2.4 Detention in the classroom, library, toilet or any closed space in the school.
4.3  Mental harassment  is understood as any non-physical treatment that is detrimental to the academic and psychological well-being of  a child. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
4.3.1 Sarcasm that hurts or lowers the child’s dignity;
4.3.2 Calling names and scolding using humiliating adjectives, intimidation;
4.3.3 Using derogatory remarks for the child, including pinning of  slogans;
4.3.4 Ridiculing the child with regard to her background or status or parental occupation or caste;
4.3.5 Ridiculing the child with regard to her health status or that of  the family – especially HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis;
4.3.6 Belittling  a  child  in  the  classroom  due  to  his/her  inability  to  meet  the  teacher’s  expectations  of  academic achievement;
4.3.7 Punishing  or  disciplining  a  child  not  recognising  that  most  children  who  perform  poorly  in academics are actually children with special needs. Such children could have conditions like learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild developmental delay etc.;
4.3.8     Using punitive measures to correct a child and even labelling him/her as difficult; such as a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who may not only fare poorly in academics, but also pose a problem in management of  classroom behaviours;
4.3.9 ‘Shaming’ the child to motivate the child to improve his performance;
4.3.10     Ridiculing a child with developmental problems such as learning difficulty or a speech disorder, such as, stammering or speech articulation disorder.
4.4  Discrimination  is understood as prejudiced views and behaviour towards any child because of  her/his caste/gender, occupation or region and non-payment of  fees or for being a student admitted under the 25% reservation to disadvantaged groups or weaker sections of  society under the RTE, 2009. It can be latent; manifest; open or subtle. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
4.4.1 Bringing  social  attitudes  and  prejudices  of   the  community  into  the  school  by  using  belittling remarks against a specific social group or gender or ability/disability;
4.4.2 Assigning different duties and seating in schools based on caste, community or gender prejudices (for  example,  cleaning  of   toilets  assigned  by  caste;  task  of   making  tea  assigned  by  gender);  admission through 25% reserved seats under the RTE; or non-payment of  any prescribed fees;
4.4.3 Commenting on academic ability based on caste or community prejudices;
4.4.4 Denying  mid-day  meal  or  library  books  or  uniforms  or  sports  facilities  to  a  child  or  group  of  children based on caste, community, religion or gender;
4.4.5 Deliberate/wanton neglect.
4.5 The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child defines corporal punishment as follows:   The Committee defines “corporal” or “physical” punishment as any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of  pain or discomfort, however light. Most involves hitting (“smacking”, “slapping”, “spanking”) children, with the hand or with an implement – a whip, stick, belt, shoe,  wooden  spoon,  etc.  But  it  can  also  involve,  for  example,  kicking,  shaking  or  throwing  children, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion (for example, washing children’s mouths out with soap or forcing them to swallow hot spices).
In the view of  the Committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading.In addition, there are other non-physical forms of  punishment that are also cruel and degrading and thus incompatible  with  the  Convention.  These  include,  for  example,  punishment  which  belittles,  humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules the child.
1 [emphasis added]
4.6 The Committee also notes that corporal punishment can be inflicted in many contexts: Corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of  punishment of  children take place in many
settings, including within the home and family, in all forms of  alternative care, schools and other educational institutions and justice systems – both as a sentence of  the courts and as a punishment within penal and other institutions – in situations of  child labour, and in the community.   This definition is a useful benchmark because it emphasises the various physical forms that corporal punishment might take, and establishes that this full spectrum of  physical punishment – even acts that many consider ‘mild’ constitute corporal punishment. There is no threshold below which physical force against a child is acceptable. 
1Committee on the Rights of  the Child, General Comment No. 8, ‘The right of  the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of  punishment’ (Arts. 19; 28, Para 2; and 37, inter alia) (42nd session, 2006), UN Doc. CRC/C/GC/8 (2006).
5.Legal Basis
5.1 International Law
5.1.1 Article  28(2)  of   UN  CRC  requires  the  State  parties  to  “take  all  appropriate  measures  to  ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.”
5.1.2 Similarly,  Article  29(1)  (b)  of   the  Convention  emphasises  that  the  “State  parties  agree  that  the education  of   the  child  shall  be  directed  to  the  development  of   respect  for  human  rights  and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of  the United Nations”.
5.1.3 Further, Article 37(a) of  UN CRC requires States Parties to ensure that “no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
5.1.4 This is complemented by Article 19(1) of  the Convention, which requires States to–“Take  all  appropriate  legislative,  administrative,  social  and  educational  measures  to  protect  the child from all forms of  physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of  parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of  the child.” Article 19(2) lays down that–“Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of  social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of  instances of  child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.”
5.2 Relevant Constitutional Provisions
5.2.1 Article 21 of  the Constitution of  India which protects the right to life and dignity includes the right  to  education  for  children  up  to  14  years  of   age2.  Corporal  punishment  amounts  to  abuse and militates against the freedom and dignity of  a child. It also interferes with a child’s right to education because fear of  corporal punishment makes children more likely to avoid school or to drop out altogether. Hence, corporal punishment is violative of  the right to life with dignity.
5.2.2 Article  21A  of   the  Constitution  provides  that  “the  State  shall  provide  free  and  compulsory education to all children of  the age of  six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.” This fundamental right has been actualised with the enactment of  Right of  Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009
2 Unnikrishnan v. State of  Andhra Pradesh, (1993) 1 SCC 645; M.C. Mehta v. State of  Tamil Nadu & Ors, (1996) 6 SCC 756
5.2.3 Article 39(e) directs the State to work progressively to ensure that “... the tender age of  children are not abused”.
5.2.4 Article  39(f)  directs  the  State  to  work  progressively  to  ensure  that  “children  are  given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of  freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.”
5.3 Indian Penal Code (IPC) Several provisions of  the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relating to varying degrees of  physical harm and intimidation can be used to prosecute perpetrators of  corporal punishment against children in an institutional setting. These include, inter alia:
5.3.1 Section 305: Abetment of  suicide committed by a child;
5.3.2 Section 323: Voluntarily causing hurt;
5.3.3 Section 325: Voluntarily causing grievous hurt;
5.3.4 Section 326: Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means;
5.3.5 Section 352: Assault or use of  criminal force otherwise than a grave provocation;
5.3.6 Section 354: Outraging the modesty of  a woman;
5.3.7 Section 506: Criminal intimidation;
5.3.8 Section 509: Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of  a woman;
5.3.9 Till  recently,  the  provisions  of   Sections  88  and  89  of   the  IPC  were  invoked  to  explain  the  power teachers exercised when inflicting corporal punishment. These two provisions in the chapter on ‘General Exceptions’ cover harms that may be caused without penal consequence. Section 88 exempts an act from being treated as an offence when the harm was caused “to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith”. Section 89 exempts acts “done in good faith for the benefit of a person under 12 years of  age ... by or by consent, either express or implied, of  the guardian or other person having lawful charge of  that person.” However, contrary to Sections 88 and 89 of  the IPC, the Gujarat High
Court in its judgement Hasmukhbhai Gokaldas Shah  v.  State of  Gujarat, 17 November 2008, has clearly stated that “corporal punishment to child in present days ... is not recognised by law”. Further, India is a State Party to the Convention on the Rights of  the Child. The standard of  ‘the best interests of  the child’ is now a part of  domestic law. In 2006, the Committee on the Rights of  the Child explained this obligation further when it reiterated, in General Comment No. 8, “the right of  the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of  punishment”.
5.3.10 In  theory,  corporal  punishment  is  covered  by  all  the  provisions  under  Indian  law  that  punishperpetrators  of   physical  harm.  While  these  provisions  make  no  distinction  between  adults  and children,  in  practice,  corporal  punishment  in  schools  and  other  institutions  tends  not  to  be prosecuted  because  it  is  widely  accepted  socially  and  regarded  as  legitimate.  So  the  provisions highlighted in this section, the criminal provisions in particular, have the potential to be used in situations of  corporal punishment, but rarely are. Legal Basis
5.4 RTE Act, 2009
5.4.1 The  Right  of   Children  to  Free  and  Compulsory  Education  (RTE)  Act,  2009,  which  has  come into force with effect from 1 April 2010, prohibits ‘physical punishment’ and ‘mental harassment’  under Section 17(1) and makes it a punishable offence under Section 17(2). These provisions read as follows:17. Prohibition of  physical punishment and mental harassment to child
– (1) No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment.
(2) Whoever contravenes the provisions of  sub-section (1) shall be liable to disciplinary action under the service rules applicable to such person.
5.4.2 Sections 8 and 9 of  the RTE Act place a duty on the appropriate Government and the local authority to  “ensure  that  the  child  belonging  to  weaker  section  and  the  child  belonging  to  disadvantaged group  are  not  discriminated  against  and  prevented  from  pursuing  and  completing  elementary education on any grounds”.
5.4.3 The RTE Act does not preclude the application of  other legislation that relates to the violations of  the rights of  the child, for example, booking the offenses under the IPC and the SC and ST Prevention of  Atrocities Act of  1989.
5.5 The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 20003 The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of  Children) Act, 2000 is an important statute that criminalises acts
that may cause a child mental or physical suffering.
5.5.1 Section 23 of  the JJ Act, 2000 states as follows: “Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or wilfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both.”
5.5.2 Section 23 covers the actions of  anyone who has “actual charge or control over” a child. While Section 23 is likely to be applied most often to personnel in childcare institutions regulated by the JJ Act, it arguably applies to cruelty by anyone in a position of  authority over a child, which would include parents, guardians, teachers and employers.
5.6 Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
5.6.1 Some  provisions  of   the  Scheduled  Castes  and  Tribes  (Prevention  of   Atrocities)  Act,  1989  can be used to prosecute an adult in the general category who inflicts corporal punishment upon a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe child.
5.7 Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955
5.7.1 Various provisions of  the Protection of  Civil Rights Act, 1955 can be used to prosecute a person/manager/trustee as well as warrant resumption or suspension of  grants made by the Government to the educational institution or hostel on the ground of  untouchability.
3 Amended in 2006.
6.Role of NCPCR and SCPCRs
6.1The  National  Commission  for  Protection  of   Child  Rights  (NCPCR)  and  the  State  Commissions  for Protection of  Child Rights (SCPCRs) have been entrusted with the task of  monitoring children’s right to education under Section 31 of  the Right of  Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which reads as follows:31.  Monitoring of  child’s right to education
– (1) The National Commission for Protection of  Child Rights  constituted  under  Section  3,  or,  as  the  case  may  be,  the  State  Commissions  for Protection of  Child Rights Act, 2005 (4 of  2006), shall, in addition to the functions assigned to them under the Act, also perform the following functions, namely:-
(a)  examine  and  review  the  safeguards  for  rights  provided  by  or  under  this  Act  and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
(b)  inquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education; and
(c)  take necessary steps as provided under Sections 15 and 24 of  the said Commissions for Protection of  Child Rights Act.
(2)  The  said  Commissions  shall,  while  enquiring  into  any  matters  relating  to  child’s  right  to free  and  compulsory  education  under  clause(c)  of   sub-section(1),  have  the  same  powers as  assigned  to  them  respectively  under  Sections  14  and  24  of   the  said  Commissions  for Protection of  Child Rights Act.
(3)  Where  the  State  Commission  for  Protection  of   Child  Rights  has  not  been  constituted in a  State,  the  appropriate  Government  may,  for  the  purpose  of   performing  the  functions specified in clauses(a) to (c) of sub-section(1), constitute such authority, in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions, as may be prescribed.
6.2As per Section 31.1 of  the RTE Act the NCPCR and SCPCRs are supposed to:
(i)Examine and review the safeguards for rights provided by or under this Act and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
(ii) Inquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education;
(iii) Take  necessary  steps  as  provided  under  Sections  15  and  24  of   the  Commissions  for Protection of  Child Rights Act.Under Section 32(3) and (4) of  the RTE Act, the SCPCRs are the appellate authority to receive appeals from the aggrieved persons who would prefer such appeals when their grievances relating to children’s right to education are not redressed by the designated local authorities under Section 32(2) .
7. Some Guidelines for Affirmative Action in Schools Towards Positive Development of Children
7.1 Addressing difficult situations in schools
7.1.1 Some behaviours of  children are perceived by schools and teachers as problematic and the prevalent practice is to respond to them with punishment of  varying degrees. Some such situations that arise in schools that invite punishment are:
i. Not  keeping  to  time  and  cleanliness  regulations  –  e.g.,  late  to  school,  not  coming  in uniform etc.;
ii. Academic  related  issues  –  e.g.,  incomplete  home  assignment,  below  expected  academic performance, not taking a book to school, etc.;
iii. Not meeting classroom expectations of  school authorities – e.g., inattentive, talking in class, making noise in class, etc.;
iv. Troublesome behaviour – e.g., disturbing other children in class, lying, stealing etc.;
v. Offensive behaviour, causing hurt or injury to others – e.g., bullying, aggression towards peers, stealing (violating rights of  others), vandalising, etc.
7.1.2 Situations (i) to (iii) should be within the scope of  the concerned teacher to ‘handle’.
7.1.3 For situations (iv) and (v) the school should have a clear protocol to guide teachers about which situation needs assessment and intervention by a school counsellor and which one needs immediate intimation to higher authorities at school and the parents. If  an attempt at resolving the problem is not satisfactory, parents could then be referred to a specialist (a child and adolescent psychiatrist or a counsellor).
7.1.4 The child and adolescent psychiatrist or counsellor should help children learn behaviours that help them develop a sense of  self-discipline that leads to positive self-esteem. The school counsellor should have the skills to build trust. He/she should have constant interaction with the child, his/her parents and teachers for understanding the difficulties of the child. The parents should be taken into confidence before sending a child to the counsellor. The school counsellor should be  allowed  to  hold  workshops  with  the  students  in  different  classes  from  time  to  time  without the  presence  of   teacher  and  staff.  Besides  having  in-house  counsellors,  the  students  and  their parents should have the liberty to approach reputed counsellors/mental health professionals to be empanelled by school. The school should also invite reputed mental health professionals to hold workshops for its students and teachers.
Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools
7.2 Guidelines for positive engagement with children
7.2.1     Punishment is often justified as a ‘last’ resort in extreme situations for instance – bullying, causing physical harm, destruction of  property, vandalism, sexual harassment, infringement of  rules such as playing truant, carrying objects which are against school rules  into the classroom, provocative/ challenging  behaviours  etc.  However,  two  children  with  the  same  problems  may  come  from different backgrounds – one an indulgent family, which believes that a little exuberance is all right, and another where the family is also at its wits’ end. The contexts in which a child’s behaviour takes place and how it comes to notice, lend themselves to child/classroom/school management.
7.2.2     A protocol of response based on first versus repeated problems founded on a set of rules the school develops with children’s inputs would go a long way to democratise response dispositions. To this, an added component of  preventive interventions, such as life-skills programme, increases overall effectiveness.
7.2.3     A difficult situation can also be resolved by a process of triangulation between the student/family, the teacher/school administration and a student council. A more difficult situation then may not be so much a discipline issue but a psychological one that needs professional attention and care.
7.2.4 The  following  guidelines  are  based  on  therapeutic  strategies  based  in  turn  on  the  principles discussed above that are commonly employed by mental health professionals in clinical settings for families with children with behaviour disorders. Though simple, these are effective strategies when implemented consistently: 
Arriving at a consensus with children about expected behaviour and consequences;
i. Framing rules and guidelines in consensus with children;
ii.Focusing on every child’s positives and appreciating good behaviour;
iii. Using different strategies to encourage and promote positive behaviours;
iv. Never comparing one child’s performance with another;
v. Setting limits and developing clarity on boundaries;
vi.Providing children an opportunity to explain before any other response;
vii.Giving a warning or chance before any response;
viii. Actively listening, remaining calm and ensuring the safety of  other children while handling
ix. troublesome or offensive behaviour;Addressing  perceived  ‘severe  or  problematic  behaviour’  through  consultation  with  parents,
x. child and counsellor/psychiatrist;Discussing (with children) and adopting time-out strategy as the last resort with children. Some Guidelines for Affirmative Action in Schools
Positive engagement with children  Some examples
(i) Pay positive attention
No♦tice children being good and appreciate them verbally Focus on the positives of every child, even the most difficult ones
♦ Identify good efforts even if  ultimately unsuccessful
♦Never compare performance with that of  other children but refer to the child’s own previous attempt
♦ Use  motivational  award  chart  (for  younger  children)  or  points  or  additional  marks  for
♦ good behaviour Award children for demonstrating values such as responsibility, honesty, caring, etc.
♦ Be accommodating of  children who require additional time and input, while providing additional
♦ tasks to children who finish work earlier (ii) Ignore minor incidents or lapses
This is the best strategy; the situation may aggravate in the short-term but it disappears later
♦ (iii) Set clear limits
Ex♦plain clearly the classroom behaviour expectations that the children have framed together Use ‘I need you to ...’ rather than ‘You need to ...’ statements
♦ Give clear commands on what is expected, e.g., ‘stay quiet’ instead of   ‘be good’
♦ Avoid ‘Don’t’ commands
♦ Enable children to set clear limits for themselves
♦ Use a ‘fir
♦ m and calm’ manner – avoid an angry tone
(iv) If    behaviour   continues,   take   away   privileges   in   consultation   with   the   children   (negative reinforcement – this encourages the child to follow good behaviour to keep his privilege, therefore it is not considered punishment)
Do n♦ot give star/point/mark on his chart for the day or give negative point/marks Take  away  15  minutes  of   any  privilege  time  (child  and  teacher  mutually  agree)  for  recurrent
♦ misbehaviours  Discuss the consequences well ahead with children so that there is consensus regarding plan of  ♦ action when a particular behaviour occurs The negative reinforcement should be appropriate and fair ♦ It shoul♦d be consistently employed Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools
7.3 Recognise that the child needs help and not punishment
7.3.1 Children’s  temperament  interacts  with  multiple  environmental  factors  such  as  parenting  style; disciplinary  patterns  at  home  and  school;  stress  such  as  marital  disharmony,  domestic  violence, etc. Many children are not ready or prepared for the demands of  the school in terms of  academics, social and interpersonal relationships. It is therefore important to try and understand what could be causing the behaviour as underlying emotional problems often result in disruptive behaviour in children. It is also necessary to provide opportunities for children from different backgrounds to  learn  psychosocial  skills.  When  adults  view  problem  behaviours  of   a  child  as  a  product  of  interaction  of   various  psycho-social  and  biological  factors  it  helps  to  understand  that  the  child needs help rather than punishment.
7.4 Rights and enablement of the teaching community
7.4.1 Preventive  strategies  should  take  priority  while  planning  interventions  to  improve  the  teacher-student relationship and create a child-friendly environment in schools. While addressing corporal punishment,  mental  harassment  and  discrimination  it  is  also  essential  to  provide  guidelines  and assistance  to  school  systems  and  empower  them  with  alternative  effective  strategies  to  handle difficult situations, and provide children with a good learning experience. To this end, regular/periodic workshops are essential for teachers to share their experiences and learn from each other and from experts who could help them manage difficult situations. However, ending corporal punishment should be seen as an immediate obligation, with clear sanctions for non-compliance, and separated from the inevitably much longer process of  transforming schools to rights-respecting institutions.
7.4.2 The  school  should  maintain  the  student-teacher  ratio  at  the  level  as  prescribed  under  the RTE Act, 2009, in order to avoid overcrowding and unmanageable class, leading to the practice of  corporal punishment.
7.5 Rights and enablement of children in school
7.5.1 A  child’s  participation  in  a  democratic  fashion  to  enable  a  collective  decision  should  provide  a better  end-result  rather  than  arbitrary,  random,  unpredictable  decisions  that  are  imposed  on  a child. There is a shift of  focus onto enablement and engagement processes, to ensure prevention and protection.
7.5.2 Guidelines should be framed in consensus with children and can be adopted by school systems. Involving the children in the processes of  framing the regulations gives an opportunity for them
to discuss their concerns, view the problems from different perspectives and generate a sense of  commitment to follow the regulations rather than impose the regulations upon them.
Some Guidelines for Affirmative Action in Schools
7.6 Need for multi-disciplinary intervention
7.6.1There is a need for multi-disciplinary inputs and networking as no sector of  child abuse can be treated as independent of  other sectors. Psychologists, educationists, school teachers, parents, social workers, lawyers and children should be involved so as to improve their understanding and thereby increase their cooperation and participation towards the well-being and participation of  the child.
7.7 Positive engagement – Life-skills education
7.7.1 Life-skills education should be an essential part of  school curriculum.
7.7.2 Life-skills  education  should  be  used  as  a  mode  of   healing.  It  helps  children  to  improve  their communication  and  interpersonal  skills,  builds  empathy,  decision-making  and  critical-thinking skills, coping as well as self-management skills. The interplay between the skills produces powerful behavioural  outcomes,  especially  where  this  approach  is  supported  by  other  strategies  such  as media policies and health services.
7.7.3 Life-skills education should address issues of  self-esteem, aggression, drug abuse, lack of  praxis in  academic  engagement,  lack  of   engagement  in  education,  decision-making,  problem-solving, coping  with  emotions,  coping  with  stress,  communication  skills  –  negotiation/refusal  skills, interpersonal skills, creative thinking, critical thinking, self-awareness skills – including awareness of rights, influences, values, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses.
7.7.4 Appropriately implemented life-skills education should lead to improvements that have long-term effects on the behaviour of  children.
7.7.5 Experiential methodologies such as theatre, narratives, storytelling and artwork helps children learn better. It helps all children participate in and contribute equally to the production of  knowledge, which is a continuous dialogue. The objective of  the process is to liberate participants from both internal and external oppression, so as to make them capable of  changing their reality, their lives, and the society they live in. Practical examples of positive engagementEmpathy building A simple story could be used to help children understand the meaning of  empathy. Children can be asked to think if  the characters acted responsibly. Children could then be asked if  they have ever been in a situation where they could understand exactly how the other person felt, because they have had similar experiences. During the process children are helped to learn that empathy is to understand how the other person feels and that empathising makes a person treat others in a kind and respectful manner.
Social problem-solving skills
Children  often  engage  in  maladaptive  behaviours  such  as  lying,  stealing  or  aggression  because  of   their inability to generate alternative solutions to the problems they have in hand.
For example, when a child is faced with teasing by his classmates, the only solution he generates could be being  aggressive  with  them.  Or  in  another  situation  a  child  decides  to  forge  his  score-sheet  for  fear  that his parents might punish him. Though in both these situations the child’s concern is genuine, the solution he/she chooses only worsens the situation for him/her. It is therefore important for teachers to help the children  understand  that  such  solutions  are  temporary  and  actually  compound  the  problem,  rather  than solving  it.  In  the  process  of   story-telling  children  are  helped  to  focus  on  long-term  consequences  rather than on immediate consequences and it assists them in generating a set of  solutions which would be more
appropriate in such situations. Children should also be encouraged to take assistance from a trusted adult when they are unable to decide.
Coping with emotions and stress
One common issue of  concern for teachers of  secondary and higher secondary classes is children who have difficulty controlling their anger. Most of the time the child’s anger has a genuine reason and therefore while addressing anger management, it is important to acknowledge the reason for anger and explain that anger per se is not the problem. Children often agree that verbal or physical aggression which results from anger is not acceptable and are willing to take help when offered. It is critical to assist children to become aware of  their emotions and handle them before they escalate. Simple techniques such as: STOP and leave, drink water,  count  numbers,  take  deep  breaths  or  even  punch  a  pillow/punch  bag  in  the  playroom,  could  be suggested. Once the child is calm, problem-solving techniques could be employed.Another important source of  stress for children and teachers is examinations. As the focus is most often on the outcome, i.e. the grades and marks, children often are not appreciated for the efforts. This results in  immense  anxiety  when  children  face  exams,  as  they  are  worried  about  performance  and  outcome.  It is  therefore  important  for  teachers  to  appreciate  children  and  help  them  focus  more  on  the  process  of  preparation than the outcome. It would help students if  a teacher facilitates a discussion on exam-related stress well ahead of  exams. These  are  some  of   the  techniques  that  have  been  discussed  from  a  mental-health  perspective  to  give teachers a conceptual framework and empower them with some practical tips to follow and execute rules and regulations. As school systems play an important role in the development of  children it is important to bring about a balance between positive engagement and managing children with difficult behaviours through positive disciplining.
7.8 Role of school management/administration
7.8.1 All staff  associated with the school should be subject to these guidelines.
7.8.2 All staff  should ensure that all children enjoy their rights as per the RTE Act.
7.8.3 All forms of  interaction with children and amongst children should be geared towards ensuring this objective. All staff  should ensure that the child is treated in a manner that encourages him or her to stay in school and learn to his or her potential.
7.8.4 To achieve the aims of  RTE it should be recognised that teachers are notin loco parentis. In other words teachers should not take on the role of  parent.
7.8.5 No physical punishment of  any kind should be permitted.
7.8.6 No  mental  harassment  of   any  kind  should  be  permitted.  No  form  of   discrimination  based  on gender, caste, class, disability, etc., should be permitted.
7.8.7 Any instance of  corporal punishment, mental harassment or discrimination should be dealt with in a time-bound manner in such a way that  implications for the child are minimised.
7.8.8 It  should  be  the  responsibility  of   all  staff   to  create  an  environment  free  of   all  forms  of   fear, trauma, prejudice and discrimination.
7.8.9 The treatment of  the child in the school should be such that the child feels included and secure. Counselling services for children should be made available.
7.9 Guidelines for creating an environment conducive to learning as well as enablement for the same
7.9.1 All  children  should  be  informed  through  campaigns  and  publicity  drives  that  they  have  a  right to speak against physical punishments, mental harassment and discrimination and bring it to the notice of the authorities. They should be given confidence to make complaints and not accept punishment as a ‘normal’ activity of  the school.
7.9.2 The conduct of  the teacher and administration should be such that it fosters a spirit of  inclusion, care and nurturing.
7.9.3 All school management and educational administration authorities should run regular training programmes to enable teachers and educational administrators to understand and appreciate
the rights of  children and the spirit of  the Right to Education. This is essential to make a shift to a rights-based approach to education and abolish physical punishment, mental harassment
and discrimination. 
7.9.4 The  teachers  should  be  trained  in  the  skills  required  to  positively engage  with  children  who  are different in order to understand their predicaments.
7.9.5 All teachers working in any school – government run, aided or private – should provide a written undertaking  to  the  management  of   the  school  and  to  the  concerned  district  authority  of   the department of  the government to which the schools normally report that they would not engage in  any  action  that  could  be  construed  legally  as  amounting  to  ‘physical  punishment,  mental harassment and discrimination’.
7.9.6 All schools should conduct an annual social audit of  physical punishment, mental harassment and discrimination. This should be made public and accessible to the authorities, the parents and to civil  society.  This  audit  should  be  concluded  before  the  end  of   the  academic  year  and  be  made public before the commencement of  the new academic year. 
7.9.7 The  school  management/administration  should  instruct  every  school  headmaster/head  teacher to hold a general body meeting with all parents of  the school as well as the school management committees (SMCs) under the RTE, the school education committees or parent-teacher associations (where the SMCs are not functional) on the NCPCR guidelines and the procedures to be adopted for protecting children and their rights in schools.
7.9.8 An environment free of  corporal punishment should be stipulated as one of  the conditions for giving recognition/no-objection certificate (NOC) to a school by the State Government under the new RTE and also as one of the conditions for giving affiliation to a school by the State Board. Similarly, ‘practice of  Corporal Punishment’ should be stipulated as one of  the conditions for withdrawal of  recognition/NOC given to any school by the State Government and also for affiliation given to a school by the State  Board.  The  State  should  frame  appropriate  rules  and  regulations  concerning  the  recognition/NOC in relation to the above. The rules should be reviewed by the State Government and necessary amendments to this effect should be notified in a time-bound manner.
Indicative guidelines that should be adopted in different situations
Some of  the strategies that should be employed based on the level i.e., severity and frequency of  problem
behaviours are discussed below:
Levels 1–2
: Not keeping to time and cleanliness regulations and academic related issues
Give the child an opportunity to explain

Give  opportunities  for  student  to  find  solutions  for  the  problem  when  he/she  doesn’t

meet expectations
Give a warning and a chance before taking any further action

When the frequency is more, involve family members who could supervise the student

With adolescents, work through the frustration about not achieving the goal and how to achieve

it the next time
Level 3
: Not meeting classroom expectations of  school authorities, e.g. inattentive, talking in class,
making noise in class, etc.
Set limits (in a clear tone without being angry) for mutually agreed behaviour in class

Strategies like seating in front to limit distractions, frequent one-to-one attention (every third

task),  buddy  support  (seating  with  another  child  who  is  of   low  risk  for  such  behaviour),  etc.
should help younger children
Try managing a problem with minimal disruption to other children

A simple verbal warning e.g. just calling out the name of  the child who is talking in the class or

asking him/her question could help
With older children, humour could be used to get across the point

Use  a  time-out  chair  if   behaviour  continues,

only  if   it  has  been  discussed
  and  agreed  to  by
the children
Check for underlying causes such as learning difficulties, attention deficit and hyperactivity,

difficult home environment, trauma
Consult the school counsellor/PT master to provide attention enhancing tasks/games

Discuss the problem with parents, the efforts made and give them the choice of  consultation

Levels 4–5
: Troublesome behaviour, causing hurt or injury to others: 
Not only teachers, but children also should have an idea of  other children’s right. When children

violate the rights of  others:
Give the child an opportunity to explain his/her behaviour without threatening

Set clear limits and discuss the possible consequences of  such behaviour

Have a plan for dealing with violence that is also discussed with students

of  Corporal Punishment’ should be stipulated as one of  the conditions for withdrawal of  recognition/
NOC given to any school by the State Government and also for affiliation given to a school by the
State  Board.  The  State  should  frame  appropriate  rules  and  regulations  concerning  the  recognition/
NOC in relation to the above. The rules should be reviewed by the State Government and necessary
amendments to this effect should be notified in a time-bound manner.
If  the student regrets his action have the student visualise appropriate response to provocation

(other than aggression)
Clarify if  the behaviour is recent or longstanding

Look  for  learning  difficulty,  underlying  emotional  disturbance/family  situation  that  are

contributing to the problem or conduct disorder or refer to school counsellor for the same
For behaviour such as engaging in fighting/lying, when occasional , give assignments on writing

down  possible  consequences  of   such  behaviour,  writing  alternative  solutions  (with  assistance
from parents), and possible ways of  dealing with anger-provoking situations
Involve  parents  early;  explain  what  was  tried  at  school  and  how  this  is  affecting  child’s

academic and social development and overall success. Prepare the parents before suggesting
consultation with a specialist for guidance as to how the problem behaviour could be tackled
by school authorities
When the issue is serious or acute – such as, unprovoked aggression, vandalising, disrupting the

school  routine – explain  to the parents the need for  immediate consultation with a  child  and
adolescent psychiatrist to prevent harm to the child and other children
For truancy, have parents notify school  when student leaves the house in the morning; check if 

child is avoiding any test/class due to learning disability or fear
Identify where school may contact the student if  the student does not show up on time

Handling difficult circumstances
i.     Dealing with verbally confrontational students
Do not lose your temper, raise your voice, or use sarcasm

Try to actively listen and allow the child to calm down, call the child later when he/she is calm

to debrief
Avoid involving other students

If  things escalate, call for additional assistance from administration

Meet the parents–Though some may not be receptive it is still important

Address anger management issues

ii.     Dealing with children who can get physically aggressive in class
Remain as calm as possible

Call for assistance by another adult

Have a student designated to get help from another teacher

The  safety  of   the  other  students  is  important,  send  the  other  students  from  the  room  if   it

appears they could get hurt
iii.    Handling disclosures
School  systems  also  need  to  be  empowered  to  handle  disclosure/detection  in  an  appropriate
way. When the child confides about being abused to the teacher, either in the school context or
otherwise, it is important that the teacher:
Is open and supportive of  the child

Does not undermine or doubt the child’s information

Does not blame the child and assures him/her of confidentiality

Explains  to  the  child  that  necessary  help  needs  to  be  taken  to  prevent  further  abuse

in future
7.10 Guidelines for mechanisms and processes to give children a voice and engage in the
process of creating a positive environment – agency of children
A mechanism for children to express their grievances both in person and anonymously should be
provided. Drop boxes for complaints should be placed in the school and a mechanism should be
developed to address the same. Anonymity of  the children/parents should be maintained while
sharing the details of  the complaints/grievances with other agencies such as the media in order to
protect their privacy/confidentiality.
It is the responsibility of  the school management to enable the formation of  ‘class
bal sabha
’ so that
children of  all ages can positively engage with democratic processes.
Among its various functions the student council should also decide on a set of  codes and rules 
that does not violate the rights of  children and the right to education
Clear-cut protocols should be framed by the schools for redressing the grievances of  the students
and/or parents.
The School Management Committee should constitute a Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cell
(CPMC)  in  each  school  to  look  into  cases  of   corporal  punishment.  This  committee  should
consist  of   two  teachers,  two  parents  (elected  by  the  parents),  one  doctor  (where  available),
one lawyer nominated by the District Legal Services Authority, one independent counsellor, an
independent child rights or woman rights activist of  the local area (nominated by the District
Child  Protection  Society  from  a  panel  recommended  by  the  local
/BDO)  and  two
students who are also duly elected from a class which is not the highest class in the case of  high
school and higher secondary school. The purpose is to ensure that students who are facing high
school finals or public examinations are not drawn into this process. For example, in a school
having classes up to 5 it can be 2 students from Class 5; in a school which has classes up to 8 it
can be 2 students from Class 8. However, in a school having classes up to Class 10, it has to be
2 students from Class 9 and not Class 10; and  in a school having classes up to Class 12, it has
to be a student from Class 11.
The role of  the CPMC should be: 
To hear the grievances of  corporal punishment, child sexual abuse, mental harassment and
discrimination  without  any  delay  whatsoever  and  preferably  on  the  day  of   the  occurrence;
it should be noted that any delay can result in the evidence being tutored in favour of  any
one and especially in a case of  violence against children when children continue to remain in
the custody of the school/teachers’ community, they are susceptible to the influence of the
school management/teachers. To ensure that no student/parent/teacher/staff  is harassed for
the complaints that have been preferred;
ii.   To ensure that students are not forced/influenced by the school authorities to testify in their
favour before media/police/court of  law or any other authority;
To see as to whether adequate steps have been taken to prevent corporal punishment, child
sexual abuse, mental harassment and discrimination;
To ensure that whenever such occurrences take place in a school the ‘victim child’ is always
protected and provided, under the supervision of  this committee, the best possible speedy
care – medical and psychological – and the required treatment for the trauma that the child
has suffered;
The recommendations of  the CPMC should be forwarded to the district level authority for
such matters with a copy to the Taluk/District Legal Services Authority within 48 hours of 
the occurrence for appropriate action.
It  is  important  to  distinguish  between  primary  redressal  (meaning,  the  adjudication  of   the
CPMC is accepted by the child and his/her family) and secondary redressal (where the child
and  family  are  not  happy  with  the  CPMC  and  the  matter  may  have  to  be  referred  to  the
district level authority for action).
vii.   Even in cases where the parents of the child are satisfied that no legal action needs to be
followed, the matter should be inquired into by the CPMC.
When  the  issues  are  not  sorted  out  at  the  school  level,  recourse  should  be  taken  to  the
procedures outlined under Clause 8 of  these guidelines.
Accountability and
Multi-sectoral Responsibility
The ‘right to remedy’ includes providing (a) equal and effective access to justice; (b) adequate, effective
and prompt reparation for the harm suffered; (c) access to relevant information concerning violations
and reparation mechanisms. Effective reparation should include restitution, compensation, rehabilitation,
satisfaction and guarantee of  non-repetition. It is pertinent therefore that the State Governments which
have to ensure their State rules provide for better implementation of  the RTE, 2009, make suitable legal
provisions for ‘effective reparation’ in cases of  corporal punishment.
All educational institutions including schools and hostels, government as well as private, are custodians
of   children  during  the  time  the  children  are  on  their  premises.  It  is  thus  the  responsibility  of   the
management/administration of  the school/institution to ensure that children are safe from all forms of 
violence, including corporal punishment. Therefore, along with the school teacher, warden or the staff 
of the school/institution that has inflicted violence on the child, the management/administration of
the school/institution and their respective education administrators/managements at the higher levels
should also be held responsible.
In every case of  violence against children the respective management/administration should conduct
an independent investigation, thus taking responsibility for what goes on in school/institution and not
rely simply on enquiries conducted by the school/institution. In any case of  child abuse, if  the parent
withdraws the case, the designated authority should take cognisance of  the offence and proceed without
harming the child and taking strict action against the accused.
As required under Section 32(1) of  the RTE Act, State Governments and UT Administrations should
designate appropriate ‘local authority’ and notify the same to all concerned for the purpose of  redressing
the  grievances  relating  to  corporal  punishment  and  discrimination.  Such  ‘local  authority’  should  be
a  member  of   the  District  Child  Protection  Society  (DCPS)  which  exists  under  the  Integrated  Child
Protection Scheme (ICPS) and is headed by the District Collector/Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner.
The DCPS should function as the District Level Committee for the purpose of  corporal punishment under
the  Chairpersonship  of   the  District  Collector/Magistrate/Deputy  Commissioner  and  the  concerned
Sub-divisional  Magistrate  (SDM)  should  be  its
ex  officio
  Member  Secretary/Convener.  The  District
Collector/Magistrate/Deputy  Commissioner  should  receive  the  complaints  of   physical  punishment,
mental harassment and discrimination in schools and get these redressed within a reasonable timeframe.
It should also be his responsibility to take
suo motu
 cognisance of  grave cases of  corporal punishment
and to take remedial measures as per law expeditiously.
Immediately upon being informed about the occurrence of  a case of  corporal punishment, it should be
the duty of  the SDM concerned to immediately ensure that the CPMC undertakes a preliminary fact-
finding exercise as mentioned in clauses in the previous paragraphs of these Guidelines.
In a matter where a child while in school suffers from corporal punishment, resulting in death (homicide
or suicide), sexual abuse or serious/grievous mental or physical injury, the SDM concerned should rush
to the school as soon as he comes to know about the incident and get the preliminary enquiry organised
immediately under his direct supervision. He should ensure that the preliminary enquiry is completed
within 7-10 days.
In  cases  of   suicide/sexual  harassment/hospitalisation  resulting  due  to  the  action  of   a  teacher/
staff  of  the school, the accused should be suspended immediately until the investigations by the
SDM and police are over.
As soon as the preliminary enquiry report of  the CPMC is made available to the designated SDM, he/
she should independently assess the report and verify the facts, wherever he/she has doubt. If  he/she is
convinced that a
prima facie
 case exists then, speedily and without any delay whatsoever prefer a complaint
in  writing  to  the  local  police  station  at  the  earliest  but  not  later  than  one  month  from  the  date  of   the
incident, asking them to set the process of  law in motion.
In all complaints of  corporal punishment preferred by the concerned SDM, it should be the duty of  the
Station House Officer/Police Station in-Charge to immediately register it as First Information Report
(FIR)  and  forward  a  copy  of   the  same  to  the  concerned  SDM,  CPMC  and  the  school  management
and  the  parents/guardian  of   the  affected  child  forthwith.  He  should  ensure  that  all  relevant  penal
provisions are reflected in the FIR, including that of IPC, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of
Children) Act, 2000 and corresponding Rules, the Protection of  Civil Rights Act 1955, and the SC/ST
(Prevention of  Atrocities) Act, 1989 and corresponding Rules.
    Thereafter, the case should be entrusted to the Child Welfare Officer (CWO) of the local police station
to take it to logical conclusion from the police side. He should immediately proceed in apprehending
the accused in cognisable offences and complete his/her investigation within a reasonable timeframe.
He should file the charge-sheet in the court of the concerned magistrate with a copy of the same being
endorsed to the concerned SDM within a reasonable timeframe but preferably within 3 months from
the date of  registration of  FIR. He/she should ensure that, irrespective of  the gravity of  the alleged
offence(s),  no  child/teacher/staff/parent  witness  from  the  school  or  the  neighbourhood  who  has
sufficient knowledge of the incident are examined in the police station for the purpose of investigation.
His interaction with the children in the school or neighbourhood should be in a non-intimidating manner
and should be in the presence of  their parents and the legal aid member of  the concerned CPMC.
It  should  be  the  responsibility  of   the  legal-aid  member  of   the  CPMC  from  the  District  Legal  Aid
Services  Authority  (nominated  by  its  Member  Secretary)  to  provide  free  and  effective  legal  aid  from
beginning to end to a child victim of  corporal punishment and his parents connected thereto, wherever
parents are not able to engage a lawyer on their own.
The SDM and CWO should always take special care to ensure that the head of  the school or the school
management or teachers’ associations/unions, directly or indirectly, do not attempt to tamper with the
witnesses in any manner whatsoever.
The concerned CPMC  and  SDM  should ensure that priority  is accorded in  the entire process to the
victim child and her/his safety and both physical and mental health. Hence, if  the child needs to be
rushed to a hospital they may take care to do so without any delay, or if  the services of  a professional
psychiatrist or psychologist or child counsellor are required, these should be arranged at Government
expense  in  the  case  of   government  schools.  For  all  aided  or  private  schools  the  local  educational
authority should organise the same at the expense of  the private management.
Once the enquiry by the SDM is complete, he should recommend through the Collector to the State
Government for paying adequate compensation to the child victim or his family in light of  the gravity
of the case within a definite timeframe. The same may be recovered by the government from the school
in due course.
The SDM concerned should also send a copy of  his enquiry report to the Director (School Education) with
his recommendation for disciplinary action against the teacher/principal/non-teaching staff  of  the school
concerned (wherever applicable). In cases, where the report of  the SDM reveals that there is a clear case
made out against the teacher/head/staff, proper disciplinary action as per law/rules should be initiated by the
Director (School Education) and appropriate actions should be taken within a reasonable timeframe.
The Director (School Education) should also take into account the record of  the school concerned regarding
corporal punishment, while renewing its recognition and/or giving NOC to it to open a new branch.
For  having  timely  assistance,  the  District  Level  Committee  on  Corporal  Punishment  under  the
Chairpersonship  of   the  District  Collector/Magistrate/Deputy  Commissioner  should  maintain  (in
updated manner) a list of  required professionals, such as doctors, counsellors, psychologists, criminal
lawyers,  child  rights/women  rights  activists  (sub-district  wise).  Orientation  programmes  for  such
empanelled professionals on the issues relating to corporal punishment should be organised from time
to time by the District Level Committee. The School Education Department should make a provision
in its budget and place the same at the disposal of  the District Magistrate for the purpose of  paying
honorarium to them on a case-to-case basis, as well as for meeting the training/orientation/sensitisation/
publicity/public awareness programme expenses.
The SDMs should keep the District Collectors/Magistrates (as the Chairperson of  the District Level
Committee  on  Corporal  Punishment)  informed  about  the  developments  in  the  cases  of   corporal
punishment within their jurisdiction once in 3 months in the format that should be prescribed by the
Directorate of  School Education or the District Magistrate.
    The District Collectors/Magistrates should periodically, but at least once in 3 months, hold the meeting
of  the District Level Committee on corporal punishment to assess the situation of  corporal punishment
in the District so as to take remedial measures.
    It should be made the responsibility of  the Director (School Education) of  the State Governments/
UT Administrations as the State Level Nodal Officer to ensure that the above guidelines are widely
known to all concerned and implemented in letter and spirit.
All the School Education Boards, including ICSE, CBSE and State Boards should take
suo motu
of the incidents of corporal punishment in the schools affiliated to them and to get the same inquired
into within a reasonable timeframe. The School Boards should maintain a multi-disciplinary panel of 
professionals (State-wise) for the purpose of  independent enquiry. They should constitute a Grievance
Redressal Cell to receive complaints of  corporal punishment and to take appropriate actions in such
matters expeditiously. These Cells should also work out strategies for preventing such incidents 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.  These  Cells
should also suitably advise the said Boards in addressing the issue from a larger perspective.
  The School Boards should issue Guidelines to the schools affiliated to them, stipulating that ‘
punishment-free environment
’ would be one of the conditions for granting affiliation/recognition/NOC 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/NOC granted to them.
  The School Boards should also issue instructions immediately to all schools affiliated to them to abide
by the provisions of  the Right of  Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 as well
as the Rules and Guidelines framed/issued/notified thereunder. They should have a test check in this
regard once in a year. The Department of  School Education and Literacy in the Ministry of  Human
Resource  Development  (MHRD)  should  get  the  compliance  level  in  this  regard  evaluated  through
NUEPA once in a year and the findings should be shared with NCPCR.

S. No.Name
Ms. Vimala Ramachandran
Educational Resource Unit
Chairperson, Committee for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools
Ms. Dipa Dixit
Member, NCPCR
Dr. Vinod Kumar Tikoo
Member, NCPCR
Mr. Lov Verma (Convenor)
Member Secretary, NCPCR
Dr. Shekar Seshadri
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services, Department of  Psychiatry, NIMHANS
Ms. Usha Ramanathan
International Environmental Law Research Centre
Prof. Poonam Batra
Central Institute of  Education, New Delhi
Ms. Sandhya Paranjpaye
Dept. of  Elementary Education, NCERT
Prof. Nalini Juneja
Dept. of  School and Non-formal Education
National University of  Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA)
Mr. Rampal Singh
All India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF)
Dr. R.K. Sharma
AHLCON Public School, New Delhi
Ms. Anju Bhalla
Ministry of  Women & Child Development, Govt. of  India
Mr. Vikram Sahay
Ministry of  Human Resource Development
Dept. of  School Education and Literacy
Ms. Kiran Bhatty
National Coordinator
RTE Division, NCPCR

No comments

Powered by Blogger.