20/11/2015 12:26 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Eight In Ten Indian Children Reported To Being Hit By Teachers: Oxford Study

A Bangladeshi student reads as others listen during English lessons at a government run primary school in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Bangladesh's High Court has ordered schools to stop using corporal punishment on students, a practice UNICEF says is widespread and has reportedly led to the suicide of a 10-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)

Nearly eight out of ten eight-year-old children in India, who were interviewed for a study on corporal punishment, said they had been hit, and nine out of ten reporting that they had seen someone else being struck in school.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Oxford, interviewed children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam also found that those how experienced corporal punishment tended to have lower math scores as 12-year-olds, compared to those who'd never been subjected to similar punishment. Also, boys and poorer children were more likely to report being struck by their teachers.

The so-called Young Lives study of childhood poverty drew on surveys with 8,000 children. Lead researcher Dr Kirrily Pells said in a statement: ‘The Young Lives longitudinal data tracks the same children throughout their childhood. What’s new is that our results suggest that corporal punishment has a lasting impact on children’s education. Since poorer children are more likely to be hit that reinforces educational disadvantages."

Corporal punishment is illegal in India and this follows from a United Nations convention, agreed upon by 47 countries, to outlaw it.This research is funded by UNICEF as part of its Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children.

Inspite of legislation and studies that have shown the harm wrought about, there continue to be numerous instances of children in India being subjected to physical punishment such as assault, being forced to stand in the sun, being denied food and water and, with what is rarely measured, verbal humiliation. Schools and parents of children have often clashed on the topic, though several urban schools have professed, at least on paper, to have gotten rid of such practices.

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