As many as 30 girl students were allegedly brutally beaten up by their teacher on Friday at a school in Munnanur village of Amrabad mandal in Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district.
The accused has been identified as Kalyani, an English teacher in Kasturba Ashram School in the village. She apparently beat up the students because they had failed or secured very low marks in an English test. Following the incident, the teacher was suspended by the school authorities on Saturday.
According to the police, one of the students was admitted to a government hospital in the district after suffering injuries on her hands and leg, while 29 students suffered minor injuries.
“Only one of the families came forward to file a complaint against the teacher. All the students were studying in Class 10, and secured poor marks in the class unit test,” said Srinivas, Inspector of Amrabad police station.
“I have received information that eight students fainted when they were beaten up. Even though the teacher has been suspended, this is a serious issue – she should have been arrested by now,” said Achyuta Rao, a member of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and a child rights activist.
The incident in Amrabad is only the latest in a string of such incidents in Telangana. In December last year, a professor from Sri Chaitanya Junior College at SR Nagar in Hyderabad was booked for caning four students and injuring them.
The incident came to light after some students secretly recorded a video of the professor’s actions. In the video, Dora Babu, the accused, was seen caning the students even after one student’s fingers began bleeding.
In October last year, a Class 10 student had reportedly suffered severe head injuries after his teacher hit him with a duster.
It was reported that the student was beaten for missing classes for three days due to an illness and for not paying a fine. The injuries were so severe that he had to undergo a surgery and was put on ventilator support.
In the year 2010, The Ministry of Women and Child Development issued guidelines banning physical punishment of students.
However, a survey conducted in 2015 on 3,000 children across the country, aged between five and 18, found that nearly 65% of the children reported of being beaten at school.
In 2013, Hyderabad had witnessed over 500 cases of corporal punishment despite the ban.
“We get complaints of at least two incidents of corporal punishment every day. This not only affects the children physically, but also mentally. The physical injuries one can see, but not the mental injuries. This can push them towards depression also. And not just corporal punishment, the behaviour of the teachers towards students also matters a lot. They should be more sensitive,” said Achyuta Rao.
Revealing some troubling numbers, he added, “In January alone, five student suicides have been registered due to the harsh behaviour of teachers in Telangana. In 2016, we have received more than 300 such complaints.”
He also said that in most of the cases, the teachers are only booked and suspended, asserting that for severe cases they should be arrested and permanently removed from their jobs.
“For this case too, 30 students were beaten up, and the teacher has just been suspended. No action has been taken,” he added.
“We have registered a case under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code and 75 of Juvenile Justice Act against the teacher. But we haven’t arrested the teacher yet,” said the inspector.