by Saifullah Bashir
SRINAGAR: On Wednesday afternoon, a video of a teacher beating a student went viral on social media platforms.
In the video, the teacher can be heard asking a student, “Tum nai mujh sai permission mangi” and can be seen slapping the student indefinitely. The teacher is believed to be teaching Chemistry at HOPE Classes, a prominent tuition centre located in the Parraypora area of Srinagar. Social media users have identified him as Fayaz Ahmad Wagay.
Soon after the video was mass circulated, the netizens started demanding strict legal action against the teacher.
“The need to regulate coaching institutes in Srinagar cannot be overemphasized! This is unacceptable,” Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted.
Video of the incident has been captured on a mobile phone by another student who was sitting in the first row.
“Wish there were smartphones when I was a student and even if we did complain to parents that sir nai mara. They were like ‘tum nai kuch kiya hoga’. Time has changed for good and nothing justifies brutality hitting a student,” Sardar Nasir Ali tweeted.
According to student activist Nasir Khuehami, what actually happened was that the student after completing the third class on Friday tried to leave for home and was not willing to give another class. However, he was stopped by the Coordinator of the centre and was again taken into the classroom. Then the teacher’s reaction came, which is visible in the video.
Citizens on Twitter and Facebook said, “Corporal punishment is banned; both teacher and institution should be dealt with law.”
Amid the second wave of Covid-19, some users raised questions over the functioning of the tuition centres. “If schools are closed why are tuition centres open?” asked a user.
The area of Parrypora is considered as the hub of tuition centres. Despite the second wave of Covid-19, the classrooms remain jam-packed, hence violating the SOP’s.
After massive hue and cry, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar took cognizance of the matter and through a letter directed the HOPE Classes to appear before this Court on April 15, 2021, at 10 AM to record the statement in the matter.
The letter reads that Fayaz Ahmad Wagay is seen inflicting physical punishment to a student of the coaching centre by repeatedly slapping him in the class.
Whereas, this horrendous action has created a huge outcry among the local population and might have left an immense psychological impact on the student.
Whereas, Section 17 of the Right to Education Act, 2009 imposes an absolute bar on corporal punishment and prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment to child and prescribes disciplinary action to be taken against the guilty person in accordance with the rules applicable to such person.
Whereas, Chief Education Officer, Srinagar vide his letter No. CEO/SGR/IMW/2509-10/21 dated 14.04.2021 has recommended the case for strict action against the erring teacher/institute.
Meanwhile, the Coaching Centres Association of Kashmir (CCAK) has expressed its disappointment over the incident.
Terming it “unfortunate”, the Association said that it has constituted a committee to look into the matter and recommend measures so that such incidents do not happen in future.
The Association, however, cautioned people especially social media users not to get swayed with the video without full knowledge. “We condemn the incident but people should not read into it too much. Unfortunately, a witch hunt has been launched by people against the teacher and the coaching institute, both of whom are known for their reputation,” said a spokesperson of the Association. “We all know how the pandemic has affected the students and education sector. So we should be guarded with our views. Teachers are second parents of a student and no teacher would do anything against the interest of a student.”
The Association said that it would soon come out with guidelines to prevent such incidents.