Saturday, 15 December, 2018, 11:12 PM
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Teachers must not be cruel and intolerant

Published : Friday, 7 December, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 553

This is not the first time that a child or young person has resorted to suicide because of the apathy or cruelty shown by teachers of an academic institution. Recently, a student of BRAC University, who had mental health issues, took his life on a residential campus. However, the latest incident to have sparked countrywide protests serves as a wakeup call for the society.  In fact, the wakeup call is a shocking eye-opener regarding the responsibility of school authorities to ensure that a child is treated with dignity and sensitivity - no matter what the offence he or she has committed. In this case, the girl, a student of one of the most renowned schools of the country, was allegedly caught copying notes from her phone while taking an exam. The child was severely reprimanded and threatened with expulsion from the school. The teenager was so distraught by such inhuman treatment that she went home and took her life.

While schools are locked in a battle to produce the best results and boast the tagline: we produce the highest number of star performers, parents are engaged in another social tug of war with their relatives and friends. Caught in between are teenagers who are at a very delicate point of growing up. For the girl who took her own life, the breaking point was when the teacher in question refused to forgive her and reportedly carried on chastising her and her guardians.

Though it's a positive step that the education ministry and the school authorities have formed probe bodies to investigate into the suicide case--showing their eagerness to prevent such tragedies in the future--but it's time teachers of all schools, colleges and universities draw harsh lesson from the incident. Our teachers must set glaring examples of tolerance, sympathy and patience, not cruelty and intolerance.

In response to the case filed by the victim's parents, the Dhaka metropolitan magistrate had asked for the police report on January 9.  Police have been directed to report on the principal and two teachers of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College.  If proven guilty, the alleged offenders may be sentenced to death under Section 305 of the Penal Code. The minimum punishment of the offence is 10-year jail term and financial penalty.

Whatever the legal outcome may be, the victim's family members deserve justice and they shouldn't be denied of it.



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