RAWALPINDI – The Punjab Educational Foundation (PEF) launched a comprehensive institutional mechanism for banning corporal punishment in its more than 100 partner schools in the province.

The mechanism has been developed in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed voluntary organization ‘Plan International’ with funding from UK aid through the ILM Ideas Program. 

It was expected that this program would help to promote child-friendly schooling in partner schools teaching more than 30,000 girls and boys, most of whom belonged to poor and backward areas. This initiative would greatly help to infuse the traits of self-confidence and exquisiteness in young students.

PEF Chairman Raja Anwar stated this while delivering his keynote address at a seminar on Corporal Punishment’s Redressal System held under the aegis of Plan International and UK aid at a local hotel on Thursday.

Besides PEF Chairman Raja Anwar, Country Programme Manager of Plan International Farah Naz and PEF Law Officer Uzma Saeed also spoke on the occasion.

Plan International’s high officials, principals of PEF partner schools OF Rajanpur district, media persons and representatives of the civil society also attended the seminar.

The Plan International has launched anti-corporal punishment programme for the PEF partner schools in collaboration with UK aid and ILM Ideas (Advocacy and Innovation Funds for education in Pakistan). This programme has been launched with the prime objective of extending the concept of ‘Learn without Fear’ in all the PEF partner schools in the district of Rajanpur.

Addressing the function, PEF Chairman Raja Anwar said that the provincial government has already strictly banned the corporal punishment in all the public and private schools in the province. He observed that the students should be brought up in an atmosphere of understanding, security and love & care.

They shouldn’t be subdued, corporally punished or humiliated in any way as it affects children’s physical, mental and intellectual growth, he added. A school is the best place of learning where the personality of the child should be moulded in such a way so as to carve his bright future. Children learn more by seeing; they imbibe whatever is presented to them.

Discipline can be instilled through suave behaving in front of the students. Punishing them and implementing hard rules will only cease their overall growth, he said. PEF Chairman also appreciated the technical assistance provided by Plan International to enhance schools’ enrolment by introducing the concept of learning without fear.

Plan International’s Program Manager Farrah Naz briefed the audience about the redressal mechanism for corporal punishment. She said that the purpose of introducing this institutional mechanism in schools is to bring about general awareness towards the negative practice of corporal punishment, and to be able to address the issue of corporal punishment in schools by developing a system to respond to any complaint primarily at the school level.

With a view to promote child-friendly schooling, committees will be formed in all the PEF partner schools in Rajanpur district which would be comprising of members from concerned communities, parents and teachers. She told that school committee members in general and teachers in particular will be imparted necessary training by the Plan International to sensitize them about the negative consequences of corporal punishment. She hoped that this program will help improve the quality of education, ensure child-protection, increase in enrollment and eliminate corporal punishment.