There was a time when teachers were considered to be second parents to a child. Time passed, this situation changed and I feel education has become a ‘business’, and teaching is no longer considered a noble profession. I think every one of us has witnessed teachers hitting students in the school and many of us were even used to it. But what I felt was more disturbing than beating or using a scale to hit kids was the humiliation of students by the teachers. It is an ugly and shocking fact that most of us are aware of but probably couldn’t do anything. A phase or even an incident of personal humiliation can leave a lasting impression on a child’s life.
I really think it’s pathetic to see how an educated person who has the responsibility of educating at least 30-40 students can seem to enjoy humiliating a specific child or a couple of children. Here are some experiences that I want to share that disturbed me and made me question why a mature educated adult could do this.
I was in class 4 and it was the Hindi period. Our Hindi teacher was very strict and used to beat kids mercilessly. She told the class to take out the homework notebooks and submit them for checking. My friend forgot her notebook at home. Not only did the teacher slap her thrice, but she ordered her favorite student to slap my friend two times. This petrified my friend so much that she was not able to perform well in other subjects as well and eventually she left the school the very next year.
Another instance I remember is of teachers making boys tie up their hair into a ponytail or make them wear lipstick to supposedly teach them a lesson. They would so this and make them stand on the assembly stage. As a kid, I found this funny, but later on, I realised how this would affect a boy.
Teachers can be racist too. There was a social studies teacher who used to teach us about ‘unity in diversity‘, and how to appreciate people belonging to various races, regions, religions, sex, caste, and so on. I was in class 9 when we had a new student in our class from Nagaland. She was not very fluent in Hindi. The kids used to make fun of her calling “chinky, chowmein” and so on.
The student was so pissed off with all this that she decided to complain to the teacher. The teacher immediately said, “beta koi baat nahi ye sab toh chalta rehta hai hamare India mein” (Doesn’t matter, all this keeps happening in our country). Through this, it seemed to me like she indirectly told that girl that she is not a part of our country. Later on, the kids started making fun of her in front of the teacher too but she just told them to keep quiet and did nothing but smile shamelessly. This might have affected her badly.
There are a lot more cases of students being humiliated by our so-called gurus. This needs to stop so that more and more kids can save their confidence and live with dignity. Teachers need to be more sensitive and should know the fact that they are making a difference in every face they teach.