PAKISTAN - No corporal punishment in schools: Zubaida
Pakistan: Daily Times, Nov. 21, 2003

* Bill on banning punishment in schools expected soon
* Parents to make reports to complaint cell

ISLAMABAD: Federal Education Minister Zobaida Jalal said no type of corporal punishment or physical harassment would be allowed in the country’s educational institutions.

While talking to the Parents and Teachers Association at her office on Thursday, Ms Jalal said corporal punishment and physical harassment impairs the learning capability of students and forces them to skip classes.

She said by treating a student inhumanely, the concept of literacy becomes repugnant. Ms Jalal said the Muslim religion does not allow a teacher to beat a student.

She said maintaining a friendly classroom environment has been a major priority in education and that the government was spending money to make the classroom a learning habitat. Ms Jalal said a bill would soon be introduced in parliament to ban physical punishment and harassment in schools.

She said the government had been successful in controlling the drop out rate because of its policies.

Ms Jalal asked parents to keep track of what happens in their child’s classroom. Parents should also be vigilant, because they are the first learning institution for their children, she said.

She directed her staff to form a Relief and Complaint Cell where cases of corporal punishment could be reported.

She said action would be taken against teachers who physically harmed student.

She said anyone wishing to complain should contact the Relief and Complaint Cell at phone number 051-9212601, fax number 051-9201392, mobile number 0300-5219598 and e-mail . —APP

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