Parent/Teacher Humiliation and Young Minds

By Sher Alam Shinwari

PUBLIC humiliation has a serious impact on children’s personalities. There have been far too many cases of children being humiliated or tortured by their teachers under the pretext of noncompliance of orders.

The action has serious repercussions. Either the children quietly obey their teachers or they turn truant while getting themselves involved in street crimes. Owing to noncompliance of orders, messages meant to be conveyed to the parents or guardians regarding fee submission, parent-teacher meetings, receiving student’s progress reports, misbehaviour or some other matter, etc., the children are made to stay outside the classrooms or, in some cases, severely beaten for no fault of their own.

Children whose parents or guardians fail to submit tuition fees to the school administration due to one reason or the other are punished in various ways. They are sometimes humiliated in front of the entire class, sometimes detained from appearing in exams or have their progress reports withheld.

Such children fall victim to various social, psychological and moral problems. Losing self confidence while developing mental stress, they become flippant. Many even stop attending school and get mixed with scoundrels and addicts on the streets while others prefer to pass their time at private net cafés or cinema houses.

“Public humiliation of students is not restricted to private schools only. It also happens in government schools causing far too many dropouts each year. Usually, it all happens when parents do not have any interest in their children’s academic performance.

“Many have jobs that keep them away from their homes for extended periods causing a lack of communication between them and their children. Hence the messages from the school administration are not conveyed to them on time. Children even get away with hiding their progress reports from them. Absenteeism on the part of the parents has given rise to numerous problems and the teachers feel that they have no other option but to punish the students in order to make them convey the messages especially those about the submission of school fees to their parents,” said an expert.

Another problem comes in the form of the parents’ failure in taking responsibility regarding their children’s school affairs. Some parents, although they do provide the fee money to their children on time, don’t realise that the children may not know how to handle so much money as yet. They often misuse the amount by blowing it away on all kinds of things while keeping both their parents and the school administration in the dark.

Then it has also been observed that many of the parents do not even come to school to collect the progress reports. They send out the children’s tutors or their servants or drivers to collect the reports giving the children a chance to tamper with the report cards causing a lot of confusion and embarrassment at the end of the academic year. And in order to achieve a positive end, the school administration resorts to negative methods which serves no purpose other than spoiling the children.

“The parents are equally responsible for this bizarre phenomenon. They should recognise their responsibility of having a direct connection with the school administration and should themselves be handling matters relating to fee submission and collecting their children’s report cards. For no progress would be achieved unless there is complete cooperation among the troika of teachers, students and parents,” a parent opined.

Many children face expulsion from their schools after their parents fail to submit the dues or fulfill any other formality imposed on them by the school administration. It has been seen that expulsion in private schools occurs over petty issues such as damaging a library book or computer. Some institutes impose huge fines or adopt humiliating ways to extort money from the parents. The parents, too, quietly obey the orders as they know that noncompliance would lead to drastic results but then there are also some who don’t bother about such serious consequences.

“Older or younger, any kind of torture or public humiliation can cast adverse effects on young minds. Children’s lives can be badly affected in many ways. On the other hand, children whose parents themselves interact with the school administration, feel secure, elevated and confident.

“The teachers should also adopt proper means and ways of contacting the parents while avoiding humiliating the children in front of the whole class,” suggests Dr Waseem Khan, a child psychologist.

He goes on to say that a sensitive child undergoes serious psychological trauma casting a negative impact on his or her academic performance while also badly affecting their physical and mental health.

“Last year, two children were detained from taking their annual examinations because their parents happened to be tuition fee defaulters. The children had shown excellent academic performance in their first terminal tests but the incident cast such a bad impact on their minds that they just couldn’t concentrate on their studies even after getting admitted to another school.

“While there is a need for school administrations to improve their procedure, the parents, too, should try to cooperate with the teachers in order to save their children’s future,” advised Miss Abida Sultana, a teacher at a local school.

Parents, who don’t give much time to their children or know about their school affairs, help develop a sense of deprivation in the minds of their children.

Source: Dawn NewsPaper Article – Sunday April 11, 2010

About Ahmad Amirali

I am an educator by profession, pursuing my further career in teaching and learning. I love to read and, even more, love to share what I read.
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