Principal battered student complains of hearing difficulty

The student had mispronounced a word in his assembly speech 

Education: A 17-year-old student of Yangchen Gatshel Lower Secondary School in Chamgang, Thimphu has been complaining of being unable to hear properly in his left ear for over two weeks now.

The school principal is alleged to have battered the student on August 3.

Narrating the incident, which led to his hearing problem, the class VIII student said he was delivering the morning speech and towards the end, he mispronounced the word ‘conclusion.’

Then the principal then and there told the student to redeliver the speech as it’s done for any student who makes mistakes in their speeches. The student, said he, tried explaining to the principal that it was not his turn for the speech but he delivered it in place of a friend who was absent that day.

“Accusing me for arguing with him, he punched me on the left ear twice and another punch hit me just above the ear,” he said. “Although it does not hurt now, I can not hear properly.”

He was battered in front of the whole school during the morning assembly.  Two days later, his parents were called to the school and he was asked to write a statement stating that whatever happened on August 3 was his fault.

The student’s sister, who went to see the principal, said that the principal complained about her brother for misbehaving with him and disrespecting him.

She said, they had to accept what the principal said and did not approach the National Commission For Women and Child or the police for help fearing damage of the student’s reputation in the school since he will be completing class VIII this year.

“We thought it was just a matter of three more months but now if he loses his hearing, we can not just remain quite,” she said.

Eyewitnesses said many students in the past made mistakes while delivering speeches but the way principal reacted on that day was extreme.

“The principal battered him brutally and we could do nothing but watch in shock,” an eyewitness said.

Another eyewitness said that the student was held by the gho on the chest and pushed.

“According to the school’s disciplinary rules, punishment to students depend on the degree of offence,” the eyewitness said. “But the punishment the boy was meted with was way too much than his offence.”

On the afternoon of the incident, the student was sent to Thimphu referral hospital after he complained about severe pain in the left ear. While the doctor had sent him for a machine-hearing test, the student gave the test and went home without reviewing the report with the ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.

Doctors at the ENT department said, although physical examination did not show signs of sever damage to the ear, a machine examination is must to confirm if there was an eardrum rupture leading to hearing problems.

Meanwhile, the principal, Tshering Womling said the student did not just mispronounce words during the speech but pronounced them abusively.

He added that the student showed temper after which he pushed him and hit him once on the head. He claimed that he did not hit him on the ear.

Nirmala Pokhrel

7 replies
  1. sibidai
    sibidai says:

    Good that kuensel managed to cover some deep-rooted tradition of school teachers in name of chastising student (including female ones) physically assaulting them. The reporter too seem to have done a good study of events before reporting. However, it looks the desk-editor (headline generator) at the kuensel office urgently needs to know the proper connotation and usage of English language. The word ‘battered’ might have been used to display vocabulary skills but in no way it reflects the true flow of the story being covered. there are better words to describe the displeasure of the punishment meted out without compromising on the gravity of the teacher’s assault on the student.
    Kuensel credibility as the national mouthpiece would certainly be enhanced if the editorial board considered ways to enliven proper use of vocabulary.

  2. tashiaxl
    tashiaxl says:

    People, usually even teachers, claim that reading newspapers will improve our English language but I guess not in this case. I am in some way guilty for this news reporter and particularly the editor. The two don’t really know the differences between QUITE and QUIET I am sure which is clearly visible in the 9th paragraph… Lol

  3. Dorji
    Dorji says:

    If what ever farmroad said is true, then who is responsible to cook the story to make matters worse. Of course i do agree that the principal must have gone out of control in the morning assembly because of the fact that students are expected to give their best shot in delivering speech which is offered maybe once or twice in a year. Principal must be annoyed by the quality delivery keeping in mind the the time and energy of other students who were listening for his speech.

    On the other hand, I feel it is not the principal or student who is to blame, class teachers and subject teacher also need to play a crucial part by providing enough support and feedback to the student to ensure flawless delivery of speech during the morning assembly.

    As a student, keeping in mind the purpose of coming to school, should not always depend on spoon feeding from the teachers, he/she need to explore/ work harder and ask so many questions to teachers, peers and neighbors to learn more and built on their previously learned lessons.

    Over all, my personal feeling is that there something wrong somewhere and need to rule out the gap.
    As a parent, who would want his child to be punished in front of their friends????. Besides psychological, mental and emotional effect on the child’s life, the story spreads like a wild fire bringing down the image of the school, teachers and students.

    So, i feel as a parents, Principals, Teachers ans students, each and everybody has to play their own roles in the institution which is bestowed upon them so that such problems may not arise in the future rather than playing a blame game.

    No hard feelings, just my feeling.

  4. wangchukpem
    wangchukpem says:

    It is very sad to know that a principal of a education institution behaving in such a way infront of assembly. such act by the principal or the teacher will definitely demoralized the students. whatever may be the degree of mistakes made by the students the principal/teacher have no right to take such punishment. just imagine that your daughter/son being slapped/thrashed by such principal infront of their friends and teacher?. what would you do/feel? I wish the boy get the justices.

  5. chopel
    chopel says:

    We have huge regard to our dear teachers as they are our SECOND PARENTS. We accept that teacher tries beyond their classroom curriculum to make children a better human being with advice and guide us with punishment if we are in wrong track. However, am sure our SECOND PARENTS would not dare to go extreme to hurt their children which at time resulting to permanent disability, right? Then the whole purpose of CARE & LOVE is defeated.

    But then sad part in this story, THE PRINCIPAL who is suppose to be leading by example and ensure such corporal punishment do not happen in his school is showing a bad trend. Then the STATEMENT- Is it a joke that fault was that of student for getting bettered? Definitely it was student’s mistake of not having enough practice of speech, but PRINCIPAL’s punch did not get auto activated to jump on head of that student. When the article 109 of penal code of Bhutan states such act as unlawful, why do teachers do practice corporal punishment? Human in perfect sense would see that both child and teacher is at loss here. If I am in MOE, I would be interested to visit the discipline policy of this school and the role of discipline committee. It should be interesting. ANY WAYS MY COMMENTS ARE LIMITED TO INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE REPORTER.

  6. khope
    khope says:

    [This post has been moderated. Please refer to our forum rules and guidelines. Thanks.]

    I thought this was going to be an interesting read, but why is this article laden with typos? I don’t expect perfect written article, but this is the lamest article. How could the editor allow this article to be published?

    Here is an excerpt:

    “Then the principal then and there told the student to redeliver the speech as it’s done for any student who makes mistakes in their speeches. The student, said he, tried explaining to the principal that it was not his turn for the speech but he delivered it in place of a friend who was absent that day.”

    …then and there told the….
    …,said he, ….

    Wow.
    [Deleted] There is always room for improvement.

  7. farmroad
    farmroad says:

    Thank you for bringing this issue on kuensel. However, the school would like to clarified that the school is a child friendly and always abide by the decisions of parents meeting in addition to the discipline policy. The student asked to write a statement stating that whatever happened on August 3 was his fault.“ and “The principal battered him brutally and we could do nothing but watch in shock,” were not at all true. The school do agree with “another eyewitness who said that the student was held by the gho on the chest and pushed.” The school had call his parents and asked to come on the same day instead go ahead with policy. The school is always abide by rules and regulation and the students has no hearing problem is attending the class regularly.

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