Misbehaving students should not be dismissed, urge activists

The state education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Monday announced that if students are found physically or mentally hurting teachers, they will be dismissed from the school.
Misbehaving students should not be dismissed, urge activists
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CHENNAI: Calling the announcement made by the school education minister unjust, the Tamil Nadu Child Rights Watch (TNCRW) had written a letter to the minister urging for a different approach in handling unruly students in schools. TNCRW pointed out that dismissing students will destroy their future.

The state education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Monday announced that if students are found physically or mentally hurting teachers, they will be dismissed from the school. Subsequently, the Transfer Certificate (TC) and conduct certificate will remark the reason for suspension, which will have a long term consequence for the child.

However, this announcement made by the minister has raised eyebrows among educationalists and child rights activists.

“The state has made a slew of initiatives and schemes for the welfare of students. However, the recent announcement is one that has caused huge disappointment,”read the letter.

TNCRW, condemning the behaviour of the students against teachers added in the letter that dismissing behaving students will not bring any real time changes among children. “If misbehaving students are removed from school, with TC and conduct certificate mentioning the reason, the future of the ward will be sabotaged,” added the letter.

Furthermore, the letter detailed that there are several government schools where one teacher is forced to handle multiple classes. Hence in this hectic schedule, teachers hardly have time to impart discipline. Also, most schools in the state do not have counsellors to address such issues, the letter read.

TNCRW State Convener, Andrew Sesuraj said, “The Juvenile Justice (care and Protection for Children) Act does not allow imprisonment of children. If a student is behaving in an unruly manner, the methods of school must be checked, instead of dismissing the student.”

“The very purpose of education and school is to impart such knowledge and discipline to children. How will the student reform if punished in a manner that will destroy the student’s future,” questions Sesuraj.

Meanwhile it is important to note that under Section 3(1) principle of presumption of innocence: Any child shall be presumed to be innocent of any mala fide or criminal intent up to the age of eighteen years.

Interestingly, the school education department has decided to offer psychiatric counseling for students by experts on the recommendation of the school principal as part of initiatives for academic year 2022-23.

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