On that day in 2011, Justices Md. Imman Ali and Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif declared corporal punishment to be ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child’s fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom’.
“Unfortunately, not all children throughout Bangladesh have had reason to celebrate,” said anti corporal punishment campaigner Sir Frank Peters, “the cruel, senseless practice still continues in some schools, much to the detriment of both child and nation”.
Sir Frank was Guest of Honour at the Seven Star Daffodil School, Trimohoni Bazar in Khilgaon, where he lodged an anti corporal punishment letter-writing competition exclusive to the school.
“Sir Frank visited each and every classroom, wished them all the blessings of Allah, spoke with some, shook hands and played tricks on more, and brought smiles to the faces of all. Although he doesn’t speak Bengali, it didn’t matter, they seemed to have understood him and responded with beaming heart-felt smiles,” said Headmaster Feroz Mia.
“When classes ended, the children blocked his exit and lovingly held him captive until he had signed autographs and inscriptions on their books. Reading the inscriptions is going to be a great incentive for them to learn English,” he joked.
Sir Frank said: “This school is a prime example of how happy school pupils can be without the threat of corporal punishment hovering over their heads and impeding their learning.
“Children learn best in a happy environment where they are motivated, encouraged and their efforts are appreciated. Throw in some fun and they’ll remember their school-going days as the happiest days of their lives and isn’t that what all schools should attempt to accomplish,” he said.