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Court pat for cane fight

The high court has expressed its satisfaction over the measures the state education department has taken to stop corporal punishment in schools.

The division bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice A.K. Roy said on Friday: “This court is satisfied with the action the state (school) education department has taken to eradicate the evil of corporal punishment in schools.”

The court adjourned the case on corporal punishment for six months but asked the school education department to be on guard and ensure that the school authorities continue with the campaign against the vice.

The court also gave liberty to Tapas Bhanja, the advocate who had filed a public interest petition on corporal punishment in schools, to seek the division bench’s intervention if any institution stops the campaign.

School education secretary Vikram Sen on Friday produced a CD of the film his department has prepared to spread awareness about the consequences of inflicting corporal punishment on students.

The department wants to show the films in schools during the annual programme or other gatherings.

Appearing on behalf of Sen, advocate-general Balai Ray told the court copies of the CD had been sent to all district school councils for circulation among the schools.

Ray also produced posters prepared by the education department, depicting the effects of physical torture and mental harassment of students by teachers. The posters will be put up in schools across the state.

He also told the court that a campaign through media had been continuing against corporal punishment.

The advocate-general submitted that copies of the guidelines to stop corporal punishment had been sent to schools.

“Following the circulation of the guidelines, regular meetings of teachers and guardians are being held in schools. Every school has appointed a committee to hear students’ complaints about corporal punishment,” Ray said.

In his report placed in the court on January 21, the education secretary had submitted that his department had approved the suspension of three teachers found guilty of inflicting corporal punishment on students. The three are Ruma Adhikari of Adarsha Balika Sikshayatan in Tollygunge, Smita Dey of Ananda Ashram Sharada Vidyapith in Bansdroni and Harisadhan Chandra of Krishnapur Adarsha Vidyamandir in South 24-Parganas.

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