Nations blessed with capable teachers can indeed consider their future secure. A competent teacher can end up training the future generation in such a way; that it has young individuals who have a positive world view; who are ready to accept challenges and are brimming with self confidence by the time it is their turn to man the ship. An incompetent teacher on the other hand can produce a generation full of individuals, who look at things with a negative perspective; who are depress and frustrated and who remain indifferent towards the responsibilities that they are suppose to shoulder. Instances of hitting children, punishing them in strange ways and even cases of child abuse are recorded on a regular basis.
There would hardly be a child in both rural and urban areas of the country who has not been hit or verbally abused at school! It is then no wonder that Pakistani schools have one of the highest dropout rates in the world. Surely, our children deserve better. The education department in the country has already banned corporal punishment in schools however; there is an urgent need to ensure the implementation of this law. All provincial education departments must enforce a strategy that allows for regular monitoring of the class rooms to ensure that our children can acquire education in a safe, violence-free environment.
Similarly, in the absence of proper training it is unfair to single-out teachers for blame. There is an urgent need for a nationwide teacher training drive that includes regular professional development — sustained through the institutionalization of a child psychology and behavior management curriculum. In the same realm, to counter the high prevalence of corporal punishment, the government should launch a mass campaign against it, upgrade assessment systems so students are evaluated by means other than rote learning, and set up a monitoring mechanism. Finally, to bring an end to the culture of corporal punishment there is also a need to set some kind of a limit to having a certain number of students in a classroom. Government schools in certain areas of the country have more students in a single class room than what a tutor can realistically manage. The narrative that corporal punishment is an effective way of disciplining children needs to be denounced. It is time that, we as a nation, understands that enforcing respect through violence and fear is an unethical strategy that has only been affecting our children and their mental and physical well-being adversely.
Sherzaman is a student of Mass Communication and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.