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Rising cases of violence against teachers in India
Numerous incidences about students and parents beating up teachers have been reported from across the country on a regular basis especially during exams, admissions and evaluations.

Teachers have been thrashed on minor causes like shortage of attendance, catching students cheating in exams, or academic failures in practical exams, internal assessments, etc. Even in some cases, teachers have been murdered.

In one incident in Delhi, a teacher was stabbed to death by a school student for some minor pretext related with routine academic work. There are numerous incidences of this kind across the country. But beating or killing of teachers is not at all an issue in this country. For authorities, teachers and students etc., it is a routing minor issue. Corporal punishment in schools and colleges are banned in India, but human right groups, media, NGOs, and activists give wrong information about it to defame teachers and educational institutions. Most for the studies in this field are wrong and manipulated. But there is hardly any data or survey about the beatings of the teachers.

At the lower level, the parents of the younger children are more likely involved in the beating or physical attack on the teachers while older children are more likely themselves involved in the attack and beatings. Male teachers receive harsher physical attacks, and female teachers are more likely to be verbally abused and humiliated but in some cases, they are also physically assaulted. It can be seen students not only beat teachers themselves but take other students' or friends' help to beat up their teachers. Further, they use other mechanisms to settle the score with the teachers like implicating them in false and fake cases. Even distinguished IITs are not free from this problem.

Now, fearing their safety, teachers have almost stopped reporting the use of cheating and other unfair means in examinations. Now cheating in an exam is a very big malaise due to this reason. Indiscipline, lawlessness and ill-manners are growing at a rapid pace in the educational institutions. Authorities and parents do not realize the gravity of the situation. Parents don't just view it as a serious problem of discipline, but also actively support their wards in this wrongdoing. They even support the use of any wrongdoing by their ward, in an attempt to improve their wards' academic performance and to scare the teacher is the easiest way. Unfortunately, if teachers are harassed or beaten, nobody comes for their help and protection. This leaves the majority of teachers with little support in the institutions, particularly in 'mild' instances of abuse, slapping and spanking.

The honest classroom observations revealed that teachers who are honest, disciplined and law-abiding, with good teaching are particularly vulnerable as they are aimlessly harassed or beaten in an attempt to shun their good habits. Harassment of teachers in any manner increases indiscipline and leaves children ill-mannered and lawless bullies. It has detrimental effects like lowering the self-confidence of the teachers and negatively affects academic works and classroom participation. Most importantly, it leads to acceptance of violence and pushes aggressive forms of masculinities predominantly among boys. There is a clear indication of relations between aggression against teachers' and increased students' aggression and lawlessness.

Fearing abuse and violence, now teachers hardly stop use of unfair means in exams, shortage in attendance or being strict in evaluations. This is causing irreparable damage not only to the students but to the education system and to the nation as a whole. Today, students, decorated with good degrees and certificates are found unemployable. They fail in their life. Boys, who are involved in aggression against teachers in schools, address their loss of self-esteem by beating other weaker boys and girls and even in some cases, their own parents. This leads to more attacks on the teachers, creating a chain of violence. Verbal abuse is evenly damaging. For instance, when a teacher is abused by a weak or rogue student and refers to the teacher in an insulting manner, it becomes a chatting point and subject of mockery for other students. This further silences a good teacher.

Besides such risks, harassment of teachers sends wrong messages to children about notions of education, control, discipline, manners and autonomy. It encourages inflicting pain on someone who wants to teach or discipline them, on the reasons for it being essential for their own well-being and for their bright future. Such students and parents must be made to feel the guilt. They should publicly name and shame. Relationships thus get based on discipline and hard work and building an honest system through positive engagement and self-regulation. There must be tough and strict legislation to eliminate such elements out of the campuses. It needs to be supported by creating social awareness about discipline, manners and law in educational institutions. It requires investing in students by training them to adhere to discipline, manners and laws. Alternative classroom management strategies and constructive solutions to challenging classroom situations should be adopted. Like rogue students should be assigned to some community work; like cleanliness, plantation, water harvesting etc to be motivated to encourage self-regulation. Students' bodies can also be involved to inculcate adherence to rules and manners.

Systemic issues, like under-staffed and under-resourced public schools with overcrowded classrooms which put additional pressure on teachers, must be addressed. Such conditions are also found to be favourable for indiscipline, bad manners and lawlessness. Teacher training should include sessions to face the everyday realities of students coming from an anarchic, lawless and violent society.

Stopping direct physical attack is not just about direct physical and mental harm it causes to the teachers, but about a culture of violence that it continues in future. It is about using violence as an effective tool in situations of which is not liked by someone. It's time we recognised the seriousness of the issue and teach children self-control and self-discipline. Eliminating violence in schools and colleges is essential for ending violence in societies.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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