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School Principal sentenced for cruelty to a child – NCPA

ECONOMYNEXT – A school principal has been given a suspended sentence by Court after being found guilty of cruelty against a 12-year-old student in 2013, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said.

A press release issued by the NCPA said that the 52-year old man had been sentenced two-years Rigorous Imprisonment suspended for five years.

It did not say whether he had been sacked from his job, or which school the man worked.

Although the government has banned physical punishment in schools, the tradition of corporal punishment continues.

Circular No 12 of 2016 issued by the Ministry of Education expressly bans the practice, but various forms of physical and mental punishment of school children continue.

An NCPA study done in May 2017 found that more than 80-per cent of children have faced Corporal Punishment in Schools and over 70-per cent psychological aggression.

These include caning, slapping, forced kneeling as well as public humiliation by teachers and staff.

Recently formed movements such as Stop Child Cruelty have sought to build public pressure and educate teachers and parents about the harmful effects of Corporal Punishment.

Professor Emeritus in Paediatrics and Founding Head of the NCPA, Harendra de Silva has been quoted as saying that laws and regulations are not enough to tackle the issue but “attitudes to the practice must change as well.”
(Colombo September 15, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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