However, the experts say the students should not be considered children anymore. They should be treated as persons and the teachers should be their role models. Otherwise, the students will not abide by their teachers. The situation has deteriorated so much that the authorities of the Rajshahi Collegiate School, the most traditional educational institution in the city, have issued a notice barring six students from coming to school for the next six months. The notice regarding these six students was published online. A similar action has been taken against another student. However, the notice regarding this was not published online. In all, such actions have been taken against a total of 12 students.

It has been learned that the students from other educational institutions are also behaving the same way. The authorities say that the pandemic has created a distance between the teachers and the students. Besides, physical punishment is not possible anymore.

Two of the six temporarily suspended students are ninth graders. They openly smoked in the school premises. Among the remaining students, three are fourth graders and one is a student of class five. They are quite reckless. They have beaten up a student so badly that the victim almost lost his eyes. They don’t care about abiding by their teachers at all.

In another incident, a ninth grade student misbehaved with a fifth grader in a way which cannot be published. Therefore, the school authority had no other way than stopping him from coming to school for six months. He will be allowed to attend the annual examination only. However, the notice regarding this was not published online.

Asked about this, Nurjahan Begum, principal of Rajshahi Collegiate School and College told Prothom Alo, “Similar punitive measures were taken against some of the students of this school in the past as well. In all, these sorts of actions have been taken against a total of 12 students of this school.”

“Already the children lack in academic norms due to the coronavirus pandemic and the teachers are not allowed to physically punish the students either. Therefore, they are becoming reckless. No student can now be punished physically, no matter how badly he behaves. The behavioural changes are evident among the students of all the schools."

Meanwhile the students think the problem lies within the teachers as well. A student of another government school claimed only two of his teachers had teacher-like sincerity. The others do not look like they have come to teach the students. However, he said even those, who try to teach them with sincerity, are not spared from the harassment by the students. He doesn’t feel good about it.

Moazzem Hossain, principal of the Rajshahi Shikkha Board Government Model School and College, said they also had to suspend two of their students. The situation has deteriorated so much that half of their students are not coming to the school and they had to distribute marks on attendance and behaviour.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Prof Tanzir Ahmed, said, “This crisis originates from the educational institutes, family and the society. The teachers of the educational institutions should not follow any double standard policy.

If a teacher says, he/she will not provide students with marks unless students come to him/her for tutoring, that teacher will never earn respect. Students will not abide by that teacher and same goes for parents. Nowadays, parents are giving smartphones to children and when children get involved in relationships at class nine or ten, guardians then take away the smartphone. That cannot happen; parents should not have double standard either.

This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu