Abolition of corporal punishment
A letter to the Editor of Holiday from Dr. Ali Biswas, MBBS, MD Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 27, 2010

Dear Editor:

My wife, grandparents and I love our three children (Amit, Ali and Maksuda) more than anything else in the world.

Before moving to Dhaka, corporal punishment had been a big issue in our family. Two years ago after one of our sons was severely beaten by a teacher, I confronted the Head Teacher. The teacher was sacked and it was agreed that in future we would discipline our children and not the school. This arrangement worked because he was a caring and understanding Head Teacher.

Many of my patients have not been so lucky and Iíve treated the ugly bruises and lesions. Now, by the blessings of Almighty Allah, corporal punishment in schools has been abolished by law.

Sir Frank Peters said corporal punishment is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of Bangladeshi culture that it would not be erased over night. "Many teachers see themselves as task masters and high above the community in which they serve. In their minds it's their right to decide whether a child should be beaten or not. Some won't be able to stop themselves."

My family agrees and we feel it is up to all parents to take positive action by writing or visiting the schools and make their feelings known and get out of assaults.

Dr. Ali Biswas,
MBBS, MD Mirpur, Dhaka


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