Can’t teachers punish students for any wrongdoing?
Prof Dr Zeenat Huda speaks to DOT :
It is the responsibility for a teacher to correct a student for any wrongdoing. A teacher can punish a student and even call in his/her parents, if need be. The parents should teach their children on how to cope with an unfavourable situation.
It is unacceptable to adopt any unfair means during an examination. It was the duty of the teachers to warn Aritree and teach moral values. It is alleged that she along with her parents was insulted. Now it remains to be seen as how much she was insulted which compelled her to commit suicide. There is not any situation in life where suicide is the solution. Life is not a bed of roses and there are hurdles in life to overcome. Aritree was mentally weak and that’s why she chose the path of suicide. This is in no way acceptable.
We should have the strength of mind to overcome the odds in life. We receive the teaching from our family and educational institutions.
The Principal of Viqarunnisa School and College was suspended after the student committed suicide. However, suspending a teacher is not a solution to the problem. The suspension will be emboldened to break discipline even more. The students should be taught about moral values. They should also be groomed in a way so that they could deal with any obstacle. Otherwise, the other students will choose the similar path as a solution to any trivial problem. Suicide is a social infectious disease.
Prof Dr Zeenat Huda is from the Sociology Department, Dhaka University
Based on an interview by Tanzina Tanin, translated by Hossen Sohel