There is national and international concern about the effects of corporal punishment upon children, and its implications for their capacity to benefit from school, yet corporal punishment is still widely used in schools all over the world, despite being banned in national legislation in most countries. Nevertheless, the topic is under-researched in developing countries. This working paper discusses the experiences of children aged between 8 and 16 in Andhra Pradesh, India. It draws on analysis of Young Lives household survey and school survey data to produce descriptive statistics to give an indication of the extent of corporal and other forms of punishment in schools. The paper also draws on analysis of three rounds of qualitative data from interviews with children and with their parents or caregivers as well as in-depth interviews undertaken as part of the school survey.
The paper explores children's accounts of forms of punishment, how poverty is linked to corporal punishment, the reasons children give for punishment, how the punishment makes them feel, and the consequences punishment has not only for the quality of their learning at school, but also for the decisions they make about staying on in school or leaving school to start working.