In February 2021, the National Assembly passed a bill to prohibit corporal punishment in all the public and private educational institutions of the capital. This will stop all types of corporal punishment in schools, madrassas, childcare centers, etc. There will be a penalty against those teachers who practice corporal punishment. This bill clearly defined the word ″punishment″ that smacking, slapping, or spanked by hand or with the help of a whip, belt, wooden spoon, shoe, etc. will be considered a punishment.
Corporal punishment cannot be justified because this type of punishment leads to a lower level of confidence in a student that may affect his or her whole career. A number of students drop out or fail in exams due to corporal punishment and many quit their education. And Pakistan cannot afford this as thousands of students are still out of school and victims of violence.
In 2013, a bill against corporal punishment was passed by the National Assembly presented by Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, but, unfortunately, it was not approved by the Senate. Now, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League, Akbar Aziz, presented this issue in the National Assembly. Although the bill was presented in 2019 but delayed due to some procrastination. The biggest hurdle for approving this bill was section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code that allows corporal punishment for constructive purposes. But, modern studies about parenting and teaching make it clear that corporal punishment is just approval of violence in a child’s mind.
Human Right Minister Sheerin Mazari put forward an amendment about the solution of complaints reported by children or parents, but the procedure of complaints evaluation is not disclosed yet. It is declared that there will be a penalty against those teachers practicing corporal punishment.
This bill is of historic importance because it cancels the provision of section 89 of the Pakistan Penal code. This will also have long-lasting impacts on society by creating love and affection for education. It is also important to know that this will be implemented in all religions and all types of institutions. Many Pakistani organizations and social workers contributed their efforts in passing this bill, and the most prominent name is of child rights activist Syed Miqdad Mehdi and Ahmer Majeed.
A renowned musician, Shahzad Roy, played his role in this bill to stop corporal punishment in the capital. His efforts are matchless and unparalleled. He met the speaker of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, to boost up the procedure of passing the bill. He made this news public on his social media platforms by telling the good news to children. His organization, Zindagi Trust, in a press release stressed that the government should make accompanying rules for business, the process of complaints, penalties of teachers, and awareness among the masses about this bill in a proper manner.