A teacher at the Anula Devi Girls’ College in Galle is reported to be involved in a case of child torture, where she had allegedly ordered her students to beat their 10-year old classmate, as punishment for talking to another girl while the teacher was conducting a class.
The incident has resulted in the victim receiving physical injuries, while she has also been mentally traumatized, as she was beaten up by 44 students out of the 50 students in the class.
“The girl as a result suffered enormous pain both physically and mentally, and is in a state of shock and trauma. She was not allowed to talk or give any explanations during the punishment, causing her much frustration and stress,” the Asian Human Rights Commission said.
The teacher had ordered her students to beat the girl after she observed that the girl was engaged in conversation with her classmates instead of paying attention to the teacher, which had angered the teacher.
We publish below the Asian Human Rights Commission’s appeal:
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 10-year-old girl has been tortured on the instructions of her teacher at Anula Devi Girls’ College in Galle District, Sri Lanka. The teacher ordered the class to beat the 10-year old girl on the head, considering it a minor crime; 44 students out of 50 followed the order. As a result, their classmate was physically and mentally traumatised.
According to the information received by the Asian Human Rights
Commission (AHRC), a 10-year-old girl child studying in Grade 4 of the
Anula Devi Girls’ College, Magalle in the Galle District, was
tortured by her teacher inside the classroom on 26 February 2016. On
this particular day, while the teacher was conducting a lesson, she
observed that the girl was engaged in conversation with her classmates
instead of paying attention. Angered by this behavior, the teacher
punished the girl by asking all the other students to beat her on the
head during the class. Of the total 50 students, 44 beat the girl as
per the teacher’s instructions.
The girl as a result suffered enormous pain both physically and
mentally, and is in a state of shock and trauma. She was not allowed
to talk or give any explanations during the punishment, causing her
much frustration and stress.
The Anula Devi Girls’ College of Galle District comes under the
direct authority and governance of the Central Government Educational
Department. The actions of the teachers and the principal must
therefore be considered as administrative and executive actions under
the Constitution of the country. The teacher allegedly responsible for
torturing the child is still undergoing her period of practical
training and is formally affiliated to the Ruhuna Teacher Training
College. The Principal of the College has allowed this trainee teacher
without any supervision to be in charge of these students, and must
also take responsibility for this act of torture.
The incident was reported to the Galle District Child Development
Committee, after which on 24 May 2016, the matter was discussed at a
meeting. The probation officer Ms. K. Nanayakkara who is the state
officer responsible for women and child care affairs, vehemently
underlined the severity of the punishment. She noted that this
particular ‘science teacher, who is a trainee teacher at the school,
had meted out this cruel punishment causing much grief and pain to the
student who had later been afraid to go to school’.
On May 26, the Harbor Police of Galle arrested the teacher and
produced her before the Additional Magistrate of Galle. The lawyers
appearing for her admitted to giving directions to the students to
beat their classmate, and requested for bail. The court granted bail
and ordered the release of the teacher under the condition of Rs. 100,
000/ personal sureties. Further, the Magistrate has ordered the
teacher not to continue further harassment of the student and not to
use harsh language against the victim child.
The AHRC observed that the victim student must be provided with
special care and counselling to ensure her well-being. She should not
be kept in the same atmosphere where she would suffer continued
harassment as a result of this incident amongst the other children who
assaulted her. Further, the trainee teacher should not be allowed to
continue to work in the same school and it is the responsibility of
the education authorities to also provide the victim child with
special and due care as soon as possible to develop the victim
child’s attitude and skills towards her future educational
Law enforcement authorities must take all necessary measures to
prosecute the alleged suspected teacher under the Penal Code for
cruelty to the child, considered as a crime under law.
Please write to the authorities listed below expressing your concern
about this case and request an immediate investigation into the
torturing of a student by a teacher in a government school.
Furthermore, those proven to be responsible for this offence must be
prosecuted under the criminal law of the country.
To support this case, please click here: