Parents worried after hearing of child abuse by teachers
Sharjah - The parents are demanding the authorities concerned to end the practices by setting stringent rules and protect students from any such humiliation which could affect their future.
The recent news and videos showing students being physically and verbally abused by teachers in schools has raised concerns among parents in Sharjah and Ajman.
The parents are demanding the authorities concerned to end the practices by setting stringent rules and protect students from any such humiliation which could affect their future.
Meanwhile, teachers are demanding amendments in the articles of students conduct law to limit them from misbehaving and protecting the rights to teachers as well as the students.
But some of them agreed that physical and verbal abuse must not become a practice in schools, as it affects the learning ability and future of children.
Liela Al Naqabi, a parent in Sharjah said that she was shocked to see the videos and also read the news about teachers beating up students or verbally abusing them. "This deeply disturbed me as my children also go to school here and I urge the authorities concerned to put an end to such a behaviour."
One parent, Suliman Akkasha, said his son is studying in one of the popular schools of Sharjah. He said he pays a high fees to get his son the best possible education, but he was shocked to see the teacher beat up his son's friend and lock him in the class room after the school got over. The father of the boy complained to concerned authorities who then took action on the case. However, I am now constantly worried about my son and keep telling him to be polite with teachers and respect the school police and focus on studies.
The other side of story
Rabab Dagash, a teacher in private school in Sharjah, said that physical abuse is not acceptable. Hot tempered teachers who lack experience of dealing with children only behave in such an uncouth way.
Teachers told Khaleej Times that there some students who are extremely ill-mannered and at times misbehave with teachers and even assault them. Therefore, stringent rules to protect the rights of teachers and students are important. "But in all cases physical abuse is strictly prohibited and not acceptable," they said.
Mohamed Mukhtar, Education Expert at University of Sharjah, said that harassing, abusing and beating, in particular, by teachers or parents affects the mental development of a child and can lead him or her to become a slow learner. "Beating at school makes a student despise coming to school and education, in general, " he said
Private schools' managements must consider the experience of any teacher in dealing with students and check his or her background before they hire them. Many schools hire just normal people who are not specialised in education as a subject and don't have even experience in dealing with students of different age groups.
Rabha Al Khatami, Psychiatry specialist at the social welfare department of Sharjah, said that beating children is a kind of abuse. According to a study abused children have shown signs of depression and withdrawal symptoms, and weak personality.
Child abuse victims are more likely to exhibit anti-social behaviour, including borderline personality disorders and violent behaviour. Child abuse and maltreatment can have a multitude of long-term effects on physical health. Research has found that abused and neglected children will develop a chronic health condition.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Hessah Al Khaja, Head of the Private Education Section of the Sharjah Education Zone, said that they have received more than 10 complaints about students being physically abused by teachers. The department had sent the investigation committee to look into all such cases and refer them to the Ministry of Education to take action.
MoE issues new regulations
Top official at the Ministry of Education told Khaleej Times that the ministry has recently issued new regulations on the professional conduct of teachers and determine his/her duties and rights. He added the new regulations will soon be implemented in private and government schools to protect the rights of teachers as well as the students.
He explained that the relation between student and teacher must be based on mutual respect and each one of them has his/her rights and duties towards each other. The official said that the new regulation includes several conditions related to conducts, technical qualification, professional responsibilities of teachers and administration to regulate the system in school and ensure security and safety of students.