Failing our youth again

An overwhelming majority of the country’s teachers believe in the usefulness of corporal punishment in schools, according to a study conducted by a not-for-profit organisation covering schools in both rural and urban areas. The recent death of a student in a Madrassa in Karachi is perhaps illustrative of such thinking. Inhuman beating and corporal punishment are still considered to be the most effective, age-old way to tame the young or to nip it in the bud in both schools and religious seminaries.

Yet the situation does not change as the laws and the initiatives drawn up on paper are seldom put into practice. One after the other, incidents of young students being beaten, harassed, raped and eventually killed make it to the public and the responsible alike, yet there is no reprisal following these actions.

To prohibit corporal punishments in schools it is important that teachers should be tested and evaluated for the nature of their job that demands patience and endurance, along with the introduction of teaching methodologies that are conducive to learning and enhance the interest of students. Besides, the perpetrators must be tried for their actions under the said laws, even if the victim’s families chose to ‘forgive’ them.

Failure to protect the young equals to the failure of the future of the nation. As a nation and as a society we have failed our youth in multiple ways. The experiences of those hailing from less privileged backgrounds will eventually shape the future that is bound to be doomed if the change that is urgently needed is not put into effect. Starting from sexual abuse to corporal punishments or molestation at the hands of teachers or the preacher in a school or a Madrassa, in coming times very few might be left unbruised.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2018.

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