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CORPORATE PUNISHMENT BAN MUST BE EFFECTIVE
‘Teacher’ slaps child’s face with a shoe

Sir Frank Peters

There are at least two questions without answers in the world today: how long is a piece of string and when will hideous corporal punishment to children end?
The piece of string is harmless enough, but the question about corporal punishment mirrors a society that is still crude, uncivilized and says nothing good, nothing decent, nothing honourable or respectable about the perpetrators – parent or teacher.
Take for example an horrific incident that occurred recently at a convent school in Fafamau city near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The Headmaster ruthlessly beat students with a thick cane until it broke.  A video shows the poor hapless students cowering, in the fetus position making themselves small and less vulnerable to the beatings and trying to protect their heads against the fierce blows as they screamed in agony, and pleading with God to make him stop.
Tragically, this case is not unique. Similar incidents occur all too frequently all over the country, evil is without borders, but only a few ever get reported.
Teacher Ashish Mani Tiwari, who attempted to stop the shameless cruel suffering, uploaded the video to YouTube. Instead of being awarded a medal by the school, parents and local authorities for doing what what’s right, decent and proper, Ashish was sacked!
A mother of one of the victim students even lodged a complaint against the school, but was forced to withdraw it after “pressure” from local authorities, the police, and the school.

Was Headteacher punished?
Was the Headteacher arrested by the police or sacked for his cruelty to the children by the Education Department despite the damning pictorial evidence. Of course, not.
The law is said to be on the side of children. People like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina continuously tell us that, hand on heart, and I’m sure she means it, but if it’s not invoked robustly, it’s a waste of rhetoric, good ink, and the paper on which it’s writSH/ten.
When Justice Md. Imman Ali and Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif made their historic ruling in Bangladesh in 2011, they declared corporal punishment to be: ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom’.” Surely, every ‘allegedly educated’ Headmaster, at least, would understand that and comply.

Banned for right reasons
Corporal punishment to children in schools is banned for the right reasons, but the power of the taka still reigns supreme and gets despicable situations swept under the carpet irrespective of the damage caused.
That leaves the child feeling powerless, helpless, and in a ‘there’s nothing I can do’ but to accept his bond of slavery to the school where government paid thugs rule.
It came to light recently that an 8th-grade student in Chittagong may lose an eye after he was struck by a duster thrown by teacher Arif Billah at the port city’s BEPZA Public School and College. The chances of the pupil regaining sight in the injured eye are extremely low.
Billah was arrested and taken into custody. I doubt however, if he deliberately threw the blackboard duster at the pupil with the intent of causing the eye injury. I doubt if a ‘teacher’ breaks a child’s leg, his fingers, his arms, his bones, or means to inflict permanent mental or physical injury or disability on the child deliberately unless he/she are of a deranged mind.
But while corporal punishment is permitted, anything can happen, anything can go wrong. As human beings, we say things (even to our loved ones) we don’t mean and later regret. Teachers also have pent-up frustrations they don’t mean to unleash on children, but they do.
We do not live in a Walt Disney created world where everything is colourful, birds twitter and merrily dance and sing on the telephone lines, colourful rainbows galore, and smiles greet us that are warm enough to boil eggs. We don’t hop-skip-and-jump our way through life as we sing happy melodies… “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go (can you hear the melodic flutes?)”.

Anything can trigger upsets
The reality is life isn’t like that. We are human beings, frail, insecure and sometimes even the slightest imbalance to our personal lives can blown situations out of all proportion and cause enormous upset to our inner being… an argument with our wife/girlfriend/son/daughter/neighbor/boss (or whoever), can trigger upset and twist our mood that reflects in our attitude.
‘Teachers’ are no different. They have their problems, their moods, their human frailties, worries, an argumentative or nagging wife/husband and financial problems like everyone else. The difference being, many ‘teachers’ release their anger and frustrations through beating children as their therapy (saves 500-taka a visit to a psychiatrist) … and make them their ‘whipping boys’.
Worse, some then attempt to justify their dastardly ill doings, ignorance, and shortcomings by labeling it ‘discipline’, as if he were doing the child (and his family) a favour.
Unfortunately, (BIG sigh) many of the pupil’s parents are so ignorant and trusting (amounts to the same), not only do they permit the cruelty, but they encourage it, they’re brain-washed into believing the ‘teachers’ to be more educated and know more about what’s good for their child than they.
You often hear people say they’ve had 20/30/40-years of teaching experience and that’s generally interpreted to mean they’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge during those years, but that may not be the case at all.

Some never learn
A person who has been doing a job for a short time – even a week –could learn the basics in that time and then repeat what was learned over… and over… and over again, making no advancement whatsoever. When you learn to boil an egg, can you honestly claim you’ve had 20-years experience in boiling eggs or is it a case you’ve learned to boil the egg in a few minutes and you’ve simply been repeating the exercise over 20-years?
Some ‘teachers’ are like that. They may have been employed by the school for 20-years or more (God only knows how they got the job), but there’s been no advancement to their own individual learning knowledge or to their teaching method. Simply, they’re egg boilers.
A slap in the face is considered to be one of the biggest insults one human being can give another, but a school ’teacher’ this week has taken it to a new low level. The incident occurred in the Haryana’s Rewari district. The ruthless ‘teacher’ didn’t use his hand, but a shoe! Not once, but several times. The Students recorded the incident on their phones
Imagine sending your child in his smartly-dressed starched uniform to an expensive, exclusive top-level school, expecting the school to do all that’s right in helping to develop your loved one, only to have him slapped in the face with a shoe.
It stands to commonsense just from the above that corporal punishment must be stopped and the ‘bad apples’ in the teaching fraternity who disagree must be kicked-out. The use-by date of the archaic practices is well and truly over in a modern enlightened civil society.
Any parent who sends his child to a school or madrasah that practices corporal punishment without offering the child support or protection, fail to be good parents.

Sir Frank Peters is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, an award-winning writer, royal goodwill ambassador, humanitarian, and a foreign friend of Bangladesh)

Comment

Sir Frank Peters

There are at least two questions without answers in the world today: how long is a piece of string and when will hideous corporal punishment to children end?
The piece of string is harmless enough, but the question about corporal punishment mirrors a society that is still crude, uncivilized and says nothing good, nothing decent, nothing honourable or respectable about the perpetrators – parent or teacher.
Take for example an horrific incident that occurred recently at a convent school in Fafamau city near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The Headmaster ruthlessly beat students with a thick cane until it broke.  A video shows the poor hapless students cowering, in the fetus position making themselves small and less vulnerable to the beatings and trying to protect their heads against the fierce blows as they screamed in agony, and pleading with God to make him stop.
Tragically, this case is not unique. Similar incidents occur all too frequently all over the country, evil is without borders, but only a few ever get reported.
Teacher Ashish Mani Tiwari, who attempted to stop the shameless cruel suffering, uploaded the video to YouTube. Instead of being awarded a medal by the school, parents and local authorities for doing what what’s right, decent and proper, Ashish was sacked!
A mother of one of the victim students even lodged a complaint against the school, but was forced to withdraw it after “pressure” from local authorities, the police, and the school.

Was Headteacher punished?
Was the Headteacher arrested by the police or sacked for his cruelty to the children by the Education Department despite the damning pictorial evidence. Of course, not.
The law is said to be on the side of children. People like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina continuously tell us that, hand on heart, and I’m sure she means it, but if it’s not invoked robustly, it’s a waste of rhetoric, good ink, and the paper on which it’s writSH/ten.
When Justice Md. Imman Ali and Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif made their historic ruling in Bangladesh in 2011, they declared corporal punishment to be: ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom’.” Surely, every ‘allegedly educated’ Headmaster, at least, would understand that and comply.

Banned for right reasons
Corporal punishment to children in schools is banned for the right reasons, but the power of the taka still reigns supreme and gets despicable situations swept under the carpet irrespective of the damage caused.
That leaves the child feeling powerless, helpless, and in a ‘there’s nothing I can do’ but to accept his bond of slavery to the school where government paid thugs rule.
It came to light recently that an 8th-grade student in Chittagong may lose an eye after he was struck by a duster thrown by teacher Arif Billah at the port city’s BEPZA Public School and College. The chances of the pupil regaining sight in the injured eye are extremely low.
Billah was arrested and taken into custody. I doubt however, if he deliberately threw the blackboard duster at the pupil with the intent of causing the eye injury. I doubt if a ‘teacher’ breaks a child’s leg, his fingers, his arms, his bones, or means to inflict permanent mental or physical injury or disability on the child deliberately unless he/she are of a deranged mind.
But while corporal punishment is permitted, anything can happen, anything can go wrong. As human beings, we say things (even to our loved ones) we don’t mean and later regret. Teachers also have pent-up frustrations they don’t mean to unleash on children, but they do.
We do not live in a Walt Disney created world where everything is colourful, birds twitter and merrily dance and sing on the telephone lines, colourful rainbows galore, and smiles greet us that are warm enough to boil eggs. We don’t hop-skip-and-jump our way through life as we sing happy melodies… “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go (can you hear the melodic flutes?)”.

Anything can trigger upsets
The reality is life isn’t like that. We are human beings, frail, insecure and sometimes even the slightest imbalance to our personal lives can blown situations out of all proportion and cause enormous upset to our inner being… an argument with our wife/girlfriend/son/daughter/neighbor/boss (or whoever), can trigger upset and twist our mood that reflects in our attitude.
‘Teachers’ are no different. They have their problems, their moods, their human frailties, worries, an argumentative or nagging wife/husband and financial problems like everyone else. The difference being, many ‘teachers’ release their anger and frustrations through beating children as their therapy (saves 500-taka a visit to a psychiatrist) … and make them their ‘whipping boys’.
Worse, some then attempt to justify their dastardly ill doings, ignorance, and shortcomings by labeling it ‘discipline’, as if he were doing the child (and his family) a favour.
Unfortunately, (BIG sigh) many of the pupil’s parents are so ignorant and trusting (amounts to the same), not only do they permit the cruelty, but they encourage it, they’re brain-washed into believing the ‘teachers’ to be more educated and know more about what’s good for their child than they.
You often hear people say they’ve had 20/30/40-years of teaching experience and that’s generally interpreted to mean they’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge during those years, but that may not be the case at all.

Some never learn
A person who has been doing a job for a short time – even a week –could learn the basics in that time and then repeat what was learned over… and over… and over again, making no advancement whatsoever. When you learn to boil an egg, can you honestly claim you’ve had 20-years experience in boiling eggs or is it a case you’ve learned to boil the egg in a few minutes and you’ve simply been repeating the exercise over 20-years?
Some ‘teachers’ are like that. They may have been employed by the school for 20-years or more (God only knows how they got the job), but there’s been no advancement to their own individual learning knowledge or to their teaching method. Simply, they’re egg boilers.
A slap in the face is considered to be one of the biggest insults one human being can give another, but a school ’teacher’ this week has taken it to a new low level. The incident occurred in the Haryana’s Rewari district. The ruthless ‘teacher’ didn’t use his hand, but a shoe! Not once, but several times. The Students recorded the incident on their phones
Imagine sending your child in his smartly-dressed starched uniform to an expensive, exclusive top-level school, expecting the school to do all that’s right in helping to develop your loved one, only to have him slapped in the face with a shoe.
It stands to commonsense just from the above that corporal punishment must be stopped and the ‘bad apples’ in the teaching fraternity who disagree must be kicked-out. The use-by date of the archaic practices is well and truly over in a modern enlightened civil society.
Any parent who sends his child to a school or madrasah that practices corporal punishment without offering the child support or protection, fail to be good parents.

Sir Frank Peters is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, an award-winning writer, royal goodwill ambassador, humanitarian, and a foreign friend of Bangladesh)


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In remembrance of Lt. Gen. Khawaja Wasiuddin

Syed Badrul Haque

The 25th death anniversary of Lt. General Khawana Wasiuddin passed off on September 22. He was a patriot extraordinaire, in the pre-liberation days when liberation movement was fast gaining ground under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, every Bengali in the army was a suspect in the eyes of the Pakistanis.  Despite such a hostile situation, he never deflected from his conviction to uphold the cause of Bengali nationalism.
He displayed his Bangla name plate in front of his house, right in the heart of the army establishment at Rawalpindi, sang, his favourite bangla songs, even delivered his speeches in Bangladesh even on formal army occasions. For the minority Bengali army personnel Lt. general Wasiuddin was the inspiration to keep the liberation spirit alive.
Here, I may recall a happening way back in 1985 at the UN Headquarters in New York to which I was a witness. I was then visiting USA on an UNESCO study programme. As the guests were streaming into the wide hall of the UN, I was trying to spot the world leaders. USA President Ronald Regan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Indian Prime Minister Rajib Gandhi were on the rostrum. Suddenly my eyes got stuck at the sight of Lt. general Wasiuddin, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to UN who in his brisk steps was going past the Pakistan President general Ziaul Huq. On seeing him, the Pakistan President stood up from his seat to greet him and talked briefly. A rare spectacle. Lt. General Wasiuddin made us feel proud.
A little digression. The history of our epic liberation war shall remain incomplete if we fail to include the contributions of those who despite their limitations fearlessly helped advance our cause of liberation in those dark days.

Comment

Syed Badrul Haque

The 25th death anniversary of Lt. General Khawana Wasiuddin passed off on September 22. He was a patriot extraordinaire, in the pre-liberation days when liberation movement was fast gaining ground under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, every Bengali in the army was a suspect in the eyes of the Pakistanis.  Despite such a hostile situation, he never deflected from his conviction to uphold the cause of Bengali nationalism.
He displayed his Bangla name plate in front of his house, right in the heart of the army establishment at Rawalpindi, sang, his favourite bangla songs, even delivered his speeches in Bangladesh even on formal army occasions. For the minority Bengali army personnel Lt. general Wasiuddin was the inspiration to keep the liberation spirit alive.
Here, I may recall a happening way back in 1985 at the UN Headquarters in New York to which I was a witness. I was then visiting USA on an UNESCO study programme. As the guests were streaming into the wide hall of the UN, I was trying to spot the world leaders. USA President Ronald Regan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Indian Prime Minister Rajib Gandhi were on the rostrum. Suddenly my eyes got stuck at the sight of Lt. general Wasiuddin, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to UN who in his brisk steps was going past the Pakistan President general Ziaul Huq. On seeing him, the Pakistan President stood up from his seat to greet him and talked briefly. A rare spectacle. Lt. General Wasiuddin made us feel proud.
A little digression. The history of our epic liberation war shall remain incomplete if we fail to include the contributions of those who despite their limitations fearlessly helped advance our cause of liberation in those dark days.


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Remembering my mother Ayesha Khatoon

Muhammad Quamrul Islam

The 36th death anniversary of my mother was observed on October 18, 2017. She breathed her last at Comiila CMH after Magrib prayer in the evening. I was lucky to be standing beside her.
As the day approaches every year, we remember the qualities of her head ad heart, and observe the day with recitation of holy Quran, prayer, Milad, doa Mahfil and offer Munajat. Holy Quran enjoins in Surah Bani Israela, which is translated in English as follows:
‘23. And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you are dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.
24.    And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say:’ My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’
25.    Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.’
This year we arranged doa and Iftar Mahfil in last Ramadan in memory of our parents in nearby Madrasha Masjid, defrayed expense fixed by committee for a day’s Iftar items for those who were fasting, which showed barkat (abundance).We formally invited all teachers, students and committee members of the Madrasha – the first female Madrasha in the Capital city.
My mother was a soft-spoken but a reserved person, spoke very little and loved all. Once in a happy mood my lawyer father, who had expired in 1969, recalled that how little she really talked to him and if he had kept an account he could probably recount how many words she had spoken. My father used to say silence is gold, speech is silver.
It is vivid in my memory, as the youngest child I was very close and affectionate to my mother. Always I ran to her for help and guidance which she showered profusely, prayed and gave me relief in distress in no time.
After emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, for which we sacrificed and suffered, our expectations were not realized due to rampant corruptions and lawlessness. I was in erstwhile EPWAPDA, bifurcated in 1972 into two Boards doubling the overhead expenses when the need was rehabilitation of war torn economy, which made me sick. My mother knew about my predicament and suggested to resign and join my father’s profession. Later I joined as founder Director of Finance in Bangladesh Red Cross Society in February 1975.
I had a longing to work at Comilla to serve the dwellers of my birth place directly and stay with mother, which was materialized as the Government established Bakhrabad Gas Systems Ltd. (BGSL) with headquarters at Comilla. I joined as founder Head of Finance in March1981 in my favorite town, came to be known as Gas City, lived happily with my mother and worked to revive its glory.
However, after my mother left this world, I came back to Dhaka in 1985.

The writer is an economist, advocate and social activist. E-mail:mqislambd@hotmail.com

Comment

Muhammad Quamrul Islam

The 36th death anniversary of my mother was observed on October 18, 2017. She breathed her last at Comiila CMH after Magrib prayer in the evening. I was lucky to be standing beside her.
As the day approaches every year, we remember the qualities of her head ad heart, and observe the day with recitation of holy Quran, prayer, Milad, doa Mahfil and offer Munajat. Holy Quran enjoins in Surah Bani Israela, which is translated in English as follows:
‘23. And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you are dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.
24.    And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say:’ My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’
25.    Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.’
This year we arranged doa and Iftar Mahfil in last Ramadan in memory of our parents in nearby Madrasha Masjid, defrayed expense fixed by committee for a day’s Iftar items for those who were fasting, which showed barkat (abundance).We formally invited all teachers, students and committee members of the Madrasha – the first female Madrasha in the Capital city.
My mother was a soft-spoken but a reserved person, spoke very little and loved all. Once in a happy mood my lawyer father, who had expired in 1969, recalled that how little she really talked to him and if he had kept an account he could probably recount how many words she had spoken. My father used to say silence is gold, speech is silver.
It is vivid in my memory, as the youngest child I was very close and affectionate to my mother. Always I ran to her for help and guidance which she showered profusely, prayed and gave me relief in distress in no time.
After emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, for which we sacrificed and suffered, our expectations were not realized due to rampant corruptions and lawlessness. I was in erstwhile EPWAPDA, bifurcated in 1972 into two Boards doubling the overhead expenses when the need was rehabilitation of war torn economy, which made me sick. My mother knew about my predicament and suggested to resign and join my father’s profession. Later I joined as founder Director of Finance in Bangladesh Red Cross Society in February 1975.
I had a longing to work at Comilla to serve the dwellers of my birth place directly and stay with mother, which was materialized as the Government established Bakhrabad Gas Systems Ltd. (BGSL) with headquarters at Comilla. I joined as founder Head of Finance in March1981 in my favorite town, came to be known as Gas City, lived happily with my mother and worked to revive its glory.
However, after my mother left this world, I came back to Dhaka in 1985.

The writer is an economist, advocate and social activist. E-mail:mqislambd@hotmail.com


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