Even though Odisha government has announced schools in the State as punishment-free zones, a class IV girl student of Ichhapada Primary School in Bolangir district was brutally beaten by a lady teacher.
However, it was later found that the girl was punished by a fake teacher identified as Khirabdhi Nanaya who was appointed by a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
In a clear case of corporal punishment, the fake teacher allegedly thrashed the girl with cane mercilessly. Subsequently, tension ran high in the area as the guardians of the students staged a protest in front of the school.
“The lady teacher has been appointed by an NGO. She is coming to the school regularly and taking classes in absence of other teachers,” said Pushparani Padhi, Headmistress of the school.
Some officials of the State Education Department, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) visited the school following the incident and started an inquiry into the incident.
“The school has surplus teachers and we don’t have any information about the lady teacher appointed by any NGO,” said Bolangir Assistant Block Education Officer, Uttam Kumar Nayak.
However, as per a senior member of the NGO Bishnu Gopal Panigrahi, they had appointed two teachers in the school to take care of the study of the backward students.
“We have appointed the teacher after discussion with the headmistress of the school. It is a voluntary service and there is no fixed salary for the job,” said Panigrahi.
Meanwhile, CWC Chairman Jogeswar Mohanty said that stern action will be taken against the fake teacher and the persons concerned for her appointment.
“We have launched an enquiry into the incident. The appointment is unauthorized. Stern action will be taken against the erring persons,” said Mohanty.