Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let the kids inside, schools told

Let the kids inside, schools told

Hyderabad: Schools can no longer make students stand in front of the main gate if they come late. After receiving several complaints from parents, the district school education department has warned schools of “severe action” if they make students stand outside the premises.
It had been a practice for most schools to make students stand outside for a duration of 30 minutes to one hour if they came late even by a few minutes. Officials said that this amounted to violation of child rights and the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
They have asked schools to look at other options such as giving lower grades in final evaluation if students come late regularly and mention about the “latecoming” in their progress reports instead of punishing them.
“Sections 16 and 17 of the RTE Act bans all kinds of corporal punishment. No child should be subjected to mental or physical punishment. Making students stand outside the school amounts to physical punishment, which is in violation of the RTE Act.
This is applicable to all the schools, whether they are controlled by the state government or the CBSE, ICSE and other Boards. We urge parents to lodge complaints with the office of the DEO, Hyderabad, if any school resorts to this kind of punishment,” said district education officer, Hyderabad, A. Subba Reddy.
Next: Schools only punish habitual offenders
Schools only punish habitual offenders
Hyderabad: Physical punishment is defined as any action that causes pain, hurt/injury and discomfort to a child, however light. This includes 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 shocks etc.)
Making children assume an uncomfortable position (standing on a bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with schoolbag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling etc.) also falls under this.
Reddy said that the department has been receiving complaints and notices will be issued to the schools after conducting an enquiry.
“We have already issued a notice to Rosary Convent High School, Gunfoundry, following complaints from parents. Action will be initiated based on their explanation,” he added.
However, school managements say that the act of asking students to stand outside the school if they come late is only to make them realise the importance of coming to school on time and they do that only in the case of regular and habitual latecomers.
“Normally, most schools give a grace period of 5 to 10 minutes. Students will be allowed without any problem if they are late by even 10 minutes. However, some students come in late by 20 to 30 minutes, which is objectionable.
Most of such students are habitual latecomers. We have to make such students follow school timings strictly,” said S. Sreenivas Reddy, president of AP Recognised Private Schools Managements Association.

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