Pakistan’s performance on the front of child protection is a far cry from realisation. Recently, two students of 5th grade form the FG Public High School, Landi Kotal, were beaten by their teacher for allegedly leaving the class room without her permission. Given the already deteriorating condition of the education sector, these humiliating and discouraging tactics only make a child less keen on coming to school and further mar the reputation of government schools.

The female student, Kashesh, told the media that her teacher thrashed her with a cricket bat, fracturing her right hand wrist bone. Similarly, a student of the same class, Suleman, was also beaten brutally with the bat, injuring his left leg. Both of them, talked about seven other students that were also subjected same physical punishments. When these grievances were conveyed to the teacher; she claimed that ‘she could do anything per her wishes’. Moreover, the school principal also ignored any complaints by the distressed parents.

Such instances of showing authority in schools, not only make sure the child does not make an effort anymore, but also causes extreme mental trauma. Pakistan signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children (UNCRC) in 1990. Under this Convention the Government of Pakistan is obligated to “take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse”. However, 26 years down the lane, we have done nothing to make sure our children remain safe.

While a number of laws have been passed, the recent one being Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill 2016 introduced in the Senate last month , the existing legislation and lack of effective implementation continue to make thousands of children suffer the worst forms of violence with impunity.

The education departments of all the four provinces have banned the use of corporal punishment in schools, however the absence of a monitoring mechanism continue to aid the perpetration of violence against children- without any consequences.

This unchecked use of violence in the name of discipline is responsible for pushing the dropout rate, far beyond reparation and one of the highest in the world. The government needs to pay attention to these problems, and get its own house in order. Instead it is focused on putting caps on elite school fees, where only a small minority of Pakistan’s children go.