There are a number of different academic institutions in Nepal that have developed unique reputations over the years. Among them, United Academy is a name often whispered among school students as one of the strictest in the country.
The anecdotes most commonly shared about this institution is about the rigorous dressing requirements, with hair measured down to the centimeters, and a rigorous study environment that barely leaves one room to breathe.
But a video that is going around social media has revealed that the most problematic part of this institution is a culture of harsh corporeal punishment. An old video that shows students being beaten as they stood prone to the ground has caused a massive problem for United Academy, right around admission time.
The video clearly shows students dressed in the United Academy uniform being beaten on the bottom one by one. While a faculty member makes his way through the line with a ruler in hand, the students are made to stand in a ‘push-up’ position, perfect to take blows to the behind. With no way out of this horrid circumstance, the students can be seen laughing off the blows and getting up promptly after their turn to take the beating is over.
The institute promptly produced a statement on social media in response to the video.
The statement acknowledged that the video was from United Academy, but also went on to claim that corporeal punishment is not practiced at the institute any more. But Redditors on the r/Nepal community are divided; while a few claim that the school indeed doesn’t engage in physical punishments, an overwhelming number of horrible experiences were also shared.
A few users also claimed to be very recent students at the school, and shared that corporeal punishment continues to this day.
One Redditor shared:
“I went to United academy for my +2, back in 2066. Students (mostly boys) were made to do pushups and were beaten everyday for the smallest things. There were other different punishment for girls. Girls with naturally lighter hair were forced to dye their hair black. Teachers were so awful. I commend my classmates who kept it up. I had migraine since class 10, and once they made me stand in the sun in summer for hours, and I wasn’t allowed to move an inch. I asked them if I could drink any water and was beaten for opening my mouth. I had a migraine attack and fainted and had to be in the hospital for a day. My parents were sadly not in ktm at the time and I basically stopped going to classes due to the mental strain, and had to lose a year and join another highschool.”
“Maile padeko 2 years ma ta kaile dekhena esto, even though DI’s haru le kt sanga boleko bhanera push up chai garako dekheko chu, esto sutayera piteko chai dekhena kaile, to be honest.”
A few users also claimed to be very recent students at the school, and shared that corporeal punishment continues to this day. The more sinister part of this saga, however, came in the form of backhanded attempts by the school to control what is no less than a PR nightmare. As can be expected, current students at the school were warned not to share this video.
In a terrifying move, United seems to also have enrolled the services of an amateur hacker to discover the identity of a particular reddit account that has been proactively sharing the video.
It is difficult to imagine that a school in a country like Nepal would engage in such filmy technological espionage. But if you check out the website that was shared to u/unitedkopoolopener, you will discover that its a service that gives you the exact physical location of anyone who clicks on the link — down to the house in which you live.
While the video may be a couple of years old, it has definitely opened the way for many victims of the school system to speak out about the abuses they faced. To an extent, it is understandable how progressive beliefs take time to be adopted by society’s different institutions.
However, the experiences of some who claim to be recent pass-outs of United Academy begets the question — has United Academy really mended its ways, or is the statement just something to appease potential new students?