Complaints of corporal punishment — like a teacher slapping or beating a child — in government schools across India have increased by more than 271 per cent in the last three years, official data shows.A total of 144 cases have been reported from various parts of the country in the last three years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has informed Parliament.There were 28 complaints in 2014-15. The number was 12 in 2015-16. It has gone up to 104 in 2016-17.Most cases have been reported from the state of Uttar Pradesh: 25 in 2016-17 and 13 in 2014-15.While the spike raises concerns about the safety of children in schools, officials attribute it to better reporting of cases. “Children have been made aware… to report when they are beaten up or slapped by teachers. Such cases were not reported before,” said a senior government official.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued guidelines to schools to ensure safety of children in schools. This has been communicated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to schools affiliated to it.”The Board has regularly issued circulars/guidelines to its affiliated schools to curb corporal punishment and mental harassment. For corporal punishment, the Board has incorporated a provision in the affiliation by-laws to prevent cruelty towards children. Under Rule 44.1 (d) of affiliation by-laws of the Board, the school managing committee has been empowered to place an employee under suspension if he/she is charged with cruelty with any student or any employee of the school,” Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha said in a written reply in Parliament.
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