TODAY -

Horrific stories of Standard Robarth and the concern for RTE
Source: IT News

Imphal, July 26 2019: The suspicious and sudden death of 14-year old Babysana in the boarding of Standard Robarth has stirred a lot of concerns and worry of what is happening in the boarding, for other students in the boarding, and for the Right to Education in the state.

Ever since an ex-student of Standard Robarth shared her atrocious experiences in the boarding, various other stories of mental and physical harassment in the boarding have surfaced on social media.

Not only has it intensified the suspicion over the death of Babysana, but it has also raised a huge concern over the well-being of the students studying and residing in the boarding school.

One ex-student said, "In one incident and the most traumatic experience I ever have had, which I am still trying my best to nullify the memories, one evening during dinner hour, one student (a friend of mine) brings out his dinner plate outside the dining hall because all the seats were taken, the warden jumps over him and slaps him more than ten times on his face, shouting that he was once a national boxing champion.

This narration is just one of the thousand experiences during my hostel days" .

Another ex-student commented, "Being an ex-student, all these are unfortunately true and these are only a few examples" .

According to another such ex-student, "Once I was beaten by Landhoni because my classmate who was sharing the same bench with me went to restroom and missed the class.

I guess I wasn't responsible for that, but I felt so bad for hurting me for no reason." Such stories of traumatic experiences pose a serious threat to the mental and physical health of the students.

It is also quite alarming considering who holds the future of our society.

How many such stories must have been swept under the rug, forcing many students to live with the trauma, affecting their lives, near and dear ones, and the society as a whole? .

Is such an institution a safe space for students to exercise their Right to Education? .

On the other hand, Manipur Human Rights Commission's statement to reopen Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School does not sound like a sincere, well-thought concern for the Right to Education of the students.

The Right to Education also says, "It prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment." Therefore, according to the revelation of these students, the school is violating the said Right to Education.

Since the experiences have put the school under a suspicious radar of the violation of Right to Education, it is the need of the hour for the concerned departments and authorities, namely Social Welfare Department, Department of Education, Manipur Human Rights Commission, Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights, to conduct an investigation of the school, its authorities, and its functioning.

The concern for Right to Education should not end at opening a school with students flocking in; the concern needs to be put into action by checking if the school follows all the guidelines and has the necessary facilities a school needs to have.

Any violation of the Right to Education should not be tolerated.


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