“Corporalpunishment according to our education policies is not allowed,” said the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, during the monthly Meet-the-Press session on August 28 in Thimphu.
The PM said, “Our laws do not permit corporal punishment, it is a mild way of camouflaging physical assault, it is not allowed and the government takes it seriously.”
The Article 214 of Childcare and Protection Act 2011 states that “any corrective measures shall be culturally appropriate and in accordance with rules framed for the discipline of children,” and it prohibits the harsh or degrading punishment in the home, schools and other institutions, but does not cover all corporal punishment.
The Home Minister, Damchoe Dorji, said that in the olden days, the teachers could do anything they wanted with the children in schools, but such corporal punishment is no longer accepted. “Corporal punishment is something that we are trying to part away from our traditional practices. Firstly, we are the member of international committee of nations in UN and secondly we are participating in international measure including child rights. We have our own child care and protection act.”
Lyonpo Damchoe Dorji said it is very important for teachers to change and keep abreast with best practices. He said corporal punishment is definitely not a way to inculcate good values in our children.
A resolution was adopted at the 11th Annual Education Conference 2008 to enforce a ban on corporal punishment in schools and guidance on school discipline was produced in 2011 to encourage positive non-violent forms of discipline.
A notification from the Ministry of Education in 1997 stated that corporal punishment should not be used. A code of conduct for teachers and students 1997 and subsequent administrative directives discourage corporal punishment in schools as it is also against the promotion of Gross National Happiness.