Friday, 15 Jun, 2007 Offbeat

Schools turn back on 40 HIV kids


Forty HIV positive children from Sangli, Western India, were denied to enter the school due to the objections of other children's parents.

"I know I'm going to die soon but before I breathe my last I want to enter a classroom and sit with boys and girls of my age. I want to feel how it is to sit in a classroom", said Geeta, a 12 year old girl who has AIDS. She remained alone after her parents died of HIV-related illnesses and now is attending special hostel in southern Maharashtra together with other HIV positive children. Besides, 10 kids out of those 40 are only four year old and they all wait for permission in kindergarten.

These children have an option to attend only four schools in the area: one high school, one municipal school and two local government schools. Although, many children were given admission to schools, authorities didn't allow any of them sit in the classrooms with other children. School authorities didn't comment the fact. The only reason that was told: parents of other school children don't want their children to sit near the HIV positive kids.

HIV-affected children are now living in a local hostel Bhagini Nivedita where they are taught basic knowledge: letters and numbers. They will pass exams in isolated place once a year. Neeta Damle, a teacher who is teaching these kids, said that they tried to give informal education to them in the hostel.

Hassan Mushrif, Minister of State for School Education promised to deal with the matter and discuss it with the local authorities. A teacher from the hostel was asked to appoint one more teacher for the kids but local primary education officer refused to do so.

Powered by

Add your comment:

antispam code