Bangladesh bans beating in schools

Bangladesh has banned beating in schools after an upsurge of “inhuman” treatment of pupils by teachers, an official said Tuesday.

“Corporal punishment hinders the progress of a student,” education secretary Syed Ataur Rahman said in a government order issued late Monday to schools nationwide.

“Teachers should help the physical and mental growth of the students to flourish — they should be grooming them so they grow up as worthy citizens of the country,” the order said.

Rahman told a news agency that the ban on beating and caning was because the government had “seen that these punishments can be inhuman”.

“Some parents have even attacked teachers for beating their child,” he said, adding that corporal punishment could also cause truancy, as pupils avoided classes at which they had been beaten.

The move comes after the country’s High Court urged the government to tackle growing cases of excessive corporal punishment in schools.

In March, eight Bangladeshi children received treatment in hospital after being caned by their headmistress for forgetting to bring coloured pencils to school.

Bangladesh has more than 30 million students in schools and madrassas — and nine out of 10 are physically beaten in school, according to a report released last October by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The report, which surveyed more than 3,800 children aged between nine and 18, found that the most common form of physical punishment was with a cane or stick.

It also found that seven out of ten children were physically punished at home.