A school located Ernakulam district's Aluva forced two primary students to stand outside in the sun in the middle of their examination as punishment for failing to pay their monthly school fees. This at a time when temperatures are soaring in the state and people have been advised to remain indoors in order to prevent sunstrokes.
The two Class 2 students had not been able to pay the school fees – an amount of Rs 990, including school bus charge – for the month of March. As a punishment, the Settlement School in Aluva asked them to stand outside the examination hall on Wednesday and the students had to stand under the scorching sun for about 3 hours till 12 pm. One of the students who was punished was suffering from a nervous problem and he had an eye problem as well.
Taking cognisance of the issue, the Kerala State Human Rights Commission has filed a suo motu case against the school authorities on Thursday. The Chairman of the commission Justice Antony Dominic has asked for a report from the District Collector and Deputy Director of Education within three weeks.
According to Sariga, the mother of one of the students, the school authorities had previously threatened them that their wards will not be allowed to attend exams if the fees were not paid. However, she never thought they would actually forbid him from writing the exam, Sariga told TNM.
Sariga came to know about the punishment when the child came home on Wednesday and told her that he was not allowed to write the exam. “He later revealed they were made to stand outside till the exam was over. I immediately contacted the school teacher and she said it was done on the direction of the school principal,” said Sariga.
According to Sariga, the school authorities were rude when questioned about the issue. “We could not meet the principal on Wednesday. By the time we came with the panchayat representatives to the school, she had left. We then talked to management authorities, but they talked very rudely to us,” she added.
Following a complaint by the student’s parents, Aluva West police have filed a case under Section 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) of Juvenile Justice Act against the school principal, Kavitha.