Bangladesh bans corporal punishment in all schools

By Anbarasan Ethirajan
BBC News, Dhaka

Image caption,
The education ministry said corporal punishment damaged students' development

The Bangladeshi government has banned corporal punishment in all educational institutions across the country.

The directive came weeks after the High Court had ordered the government to take steps to stop corporal punishment in primary and secondary schools.

The government's order covers all schools, including madrassas.

Beatings are widespread in Bangladeshi schools, even though human rights groups have been campaigning against them for years.

In its latest directive, the education ministry banned what it described as inhuman and merciless punishment given to students in schools.

Corporal punishment damaged the development of students, it said.

Suicide allegations

Those teachers found guilty of beating children will now face disciplinary action by district education officers.

Some school staff argue that a form of corporal punishment is needed to keep order in their classrooms.

But others disagree.

"We used to give physical punishment at our school in limited scale. But we found that it did not bring any positive result," said one teacher, Rafiqul Islam.

"Students who face corporal punishment do not attend classes regularly."

In July, the high court ordered the government to take steps to stop corporal punishment following allegations that a 10-year-old boy had committed suicide after he had been beaten by his school teacher.

At another school in the south of the country, eight students were allegedly treated in hospital after being caned for not bringing coloured pencils to the school.

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