31st May, 2007

Teacher harassing their children?

Parents of six Class IV students of Bemji Primary School in Trongsa have alleged that a teacher has been harassing their children to such an extent that they want to quit school.

The six students are aged between 9-10 years.

“My daughter has ear problem and the teacher slapped her on the ear and pus oozed out,� a parent from Kaba village told Kuensel. Another parent claimed that his son “was kicked on the chest, thrown out of the class and threatened�.

The parents told Kuensel that they heard about the beatings for almost a month, but they did not take it seriously until their children refused to go to school as their teacher had warned them that he did not want to see them.

“Every body was talking about the unusual beatings but I thought there is nothing serious in a teacher beating a student until I heard that my 10-year-old son talked of committing suicide to his friends,� Yeshey Dema said.

“My sister-in-law, who is in class V but shares the same classroom with my son, complained about the beatings but we scolded our children to be more alert and careful in class,� said Dorji Wangdi. “Now my son says he wants to drop school.�

The students told their parents that they were beaten for not being able to respond correctly in class and sometimes failing to do their homework on time.

The parents, all farmers, said that they were ignorant of the education policy until some government officials told them corporal punishment had long been removed.

The head teacher of Bemji Primary School, Tashi Wangdi, said he came to know about the problem after a parent came to school, representing the six students, to inquire about it. “I gave a verbal warning to the teacher and told him about the importance of counseling rather than such action,� he said.

He said that the teacher had resorted to such punishment as the six students were not doing their homework and did not understand anything in class.

The accused teacher, Thinley Dorji, was out of station and could not be contacted for comment. Bemji Primary School has 71 students and five teachers. Source: Kuenselonline

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